Hungary ‘Ready to Restore Ties’ with Armenia

Hungary's Ambassador to Georgia, Sandor Szabo

YEREVAN—Hungary is ready to restore relations with Armenia anytime, Hungary’s Ambassador to Georgia Sandor Szabo said in an exclusive interview with Public Radio of Armenia.

Armenia suspended diplomatic relations with Hungary in August 2012 after the extradition of Azerbaijani officer Ramil Safarov, who axe murdered Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan in his sleep while both were attending NATO-sponsored educational courses in Budapest. Safarov was subsequently pardoned and given a hero’s welcome upon arriving in Azerbaijan from Hungary.

The Hungarian ambassador noted that immediately after the suspension of relations, his government took steps to reestablish diplomatic relations. “Unfortunately, these steps were not successful, but we should never give up,” the Ambassador said. He’s hopeful the issue will be solved very soon through diplomatic channels and negotiations.

Ambassador Szabo said both sides should take steps to mend ties, because the solution of the issue is the task of the two parties.

Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said recently that Armenia is ready to restore diplomatic relations with Hungary, but expects Budapest to make the first step.

“He’s right that the Armenian side is waiting for Hungary’s steps, but as I told you, the Hungarian side has taken those steps, and not only once. Hungarian Foreign Minister János Martonyi sent a letter to his Armenian counterpart soon after the events. Moreover, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary sent a note verbale to the Armenian Foreign Ministry to express our willingness to reestablish diplomatic relations. But unfortunately, there has been no progress so far.”

“We think these steps on the Foreign Minister’s level should find a positive response from your country,” the Ambassador said.

Asked whether it’s possible for Hungary to recognize the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, Szabo said the issue is not on the agenda, not only in Hungary, but also in many other countries. “Hungary is not late, as Armenia has not recognized the independence of Nagorno Karabakh yet,” he said.

After years of negotiating the Association Agreement with the European Union, Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian declared on September 3, 2013, his government’s intention to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

“It was not easy for my country, as the supporter of the Eastern Partnership Project, to absorb this information, because we had supported Armenia, Georgia and Moldova on this path,” the Ambassador said.

“After the Vilnius Summit and after the Ukraine events, Armenia and the EU started some consultations to find a way out of this situation, to save the Association Agreement, but as far as I know, there have been no concrete results so far,” Szabo said.

“Armenia and the EU have done a lot of work in the recent years,” he said, voicing hope that the sides will find a way to save the fruits of their labor. “It is a question of the future,” he added.

Ambassador Sandor Szabo hopes to visit Armenia one day not only as a Hungarian citizen, but also in his capacity as a Hungarian ambassador to meet people and to start the cooperation planned two years ago, when he presented his credentials to the Armenian President. “It is my wish,” he concluded.


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  1. Hratch said:

    What good is Hungary for? They can’t even help themselves let alone offer anything of value to Armenia. They’re passé. Misery loves company.

  2. Norin Radd said:

    Diplomatic relations should only be considered if and only if Hungary sends a formal written apology for releasing a sentenced murderer under dubious circumstances. Even an idiot would have known that Savarov would be treated with great favor back in Baboonbaijan. So either Hungary is governed by idiots or they knew full well Savarovs release would likely end up in a pardon but they let him go anyway under the auspices of clandestine favors.

    Classical European politics at play here, screw over someone , then play dumb as if you did not do it on purpose, them let the fire die down and try and make amends.

    Screw Hungary and screw relations, just like the Turks did with Israel, we will wait for apology from their head of government before considering any diplomatic relations.

    Hungary’s government is corrupt, it needs a European Spring!! People of Hungary, make your ancestor Vlad The Impaled proud, resurrect the Order of The Dragon and clean up you government of corrupt officials.

    • Hbaghoomian said:

      *** Very insightful comments.., Armenia should get an official apology from Hungary., for giving in to the barbaric Azerbaijan government pressure and bribery’s ., before any thing constructive can happen on the diplomatic front.. ( I do not think Hungary has or can offer any thing to Armenia any way. ) and yes I do hope that there are brainy and skillful politicians in Armenia to monitor this and should not compromise the Armenia’s integrity and national interest..

  3. Vindicated Man said:

    Anyway, is the status quo really doing more damage than good? Let Hungary do something substantial, e.g. recognize Artsakh, impose a criminal punishment for Genocide deniers, break diplomatic relations with Safarov’s regime for not keeping the word, … Hungary, I don’t think you’re ready for anything seriouserious yet. Pitching up a diplomat isn’t enough.

  4. Hrant said:

    I wonder what the response would be if the situation was reversed, and Armenia, despite governmental promises had released a murderer, who had murdered a Hungarian officer- DURING A PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE PROGRAM, of NATO?
    Yes, I believe that diplomatic relations should be commenced, yet w/an apology formally form the Hungarian side, really making up for the issues at hand in a constructive manner- IF they are sincere.

  5. GeorgeMardig said:

    Hungary ‘Ready to Restore Ties’ with Armenia? that’s Bull sht, Armenia should be ready. What’s the price they are ready to pay or this is a free ride.

  6. Krikor said:

    Hungary is as criminal as Azerbaijan. They released the monster against MONEY !!!

  7. Ron said:

    I call to the attention of my Armenian friends an article I just read entitled “Borderlands: The View from Azerbaijan” published by George Friedman on I ask everyone to send their emails and complaints to George for spreading lies about Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh, and presenting Azerbaijan as a great country and potential western ally, which is pathetic. We also need to remind him that whatever money he got from Azerbaijan for the article is blood money, and it will catch up with him sooner or later.

    • Hbaghoomian said:

      **** I did send an email to George Friedman on the, on his bull s… article ., he has lost complete credibility as journalist /political annalist…. I suggested to him that he would not call the Jewish holocaust as ” long time a go ” so how come you are presenting it as such ..? your totally insensitive and inaccurate article about Armenian gene-side. ( historical and documented fact.) and he is clearly in Turks & Azeri lobbyist pockets. ( and I did cancel my subscription with the stratfor. )

  8. Varpet said:

    Amot nran ov vor ed caxvac pornikneri het haraberutyunner kstexci. Nranq poxi hamar iranc morn el kcaxen. Nalbandyan du el kanes?

  9. Dr.Hermon Mihranian said:

    In my point of view this is a cordial stepp from Hungary. to restore diplomatic relations with Armenia. As an armenian born hungarian citizen back the positive stepps.

    • bigmoustache said:

      aside from the safarov issue, hungary is a big supporter of Azerbaijan economically, politically. who needs hungary.

  10. Josef said:

    I hope Hungarians and the world understand learned there lesson never to trust Turks!

  11. Armenian said:

    “Sending a note” is not a serious diplomatic step, especially after they release a vile, disgusting ax murderer like Safarov into the free world. I don’t think they understand the severity of their actions, and I am sure that they were hardly even warned of the consequences of their actions by our inept Foreign Ministry.