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The prospects of the Hungarian-Israeli relations

On 17th October, Avi Dichter, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Knesset and Zsolt Németh, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Hungarian National Assembly held a public lecture about the Hungarian-Israeli bilateral cooperation at the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade (IFAT). The lecturers spoke about the current geopolitical situation of the Middle East, the counter-terrorism policies of Israel, and the possible fields of cooperation between Hungary and Israel.

In his opening remarks, Ambassador Márton Schőberl, the director of IFAT, emphasised that the Institute has already hosted many lectures and discussions about the Hungarian-Israeli relations and continues to do so, since the relations between the two countries play a priority role in not just the agenda of the Hungarian government but in the research portfolio of the IFAT.

Avi Dichter described the unpredicted events and turning points of the Middle East in the last few years. He analysed explicitly Iran's regional ambitions which are indicated by the numerous conflicts in which Iran intervened. Afterwards, he spoke about the counter-terrorism policies of Israel. The appearance of suicide bomb attacks was shocking for the society and the adaptation to this new kind of threat took long time. Therefore, in the case of Hungary, which has avoided luckily such terrorist attacks yet, Chairman Dichter suggested to prepare for and defend against terrorism preventively, which is impossible without a very good system of intelligence and border control.

Zsolt Németh, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Hungarian National Assembly spoke about the common history and cultural roots which bind the Hungarian and Israeli societies together. He underlined the role of the Jewish community in Hungary which shapes the relations between the two countries to a great extent. The primary common interests of Hungary and Israel lie in security and prosperity; thus the military industry can be an important field of cooperation.