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President Novák Attends B9 Summit in Warsaw

President of Hungary Katalin Novák attended the Bucharest Nine (B9) Summit of the Eastern European NATO member states in Warsaw on Wednesday. She stressed that the recent history of our region reminds us of the need to focus our attention on building and preserving peace. She added that once peace is established, we must contribute to the rebuilding of a democratic and prosperous Ukraine.

In addition to Katalin Novák, the plenary session also featured speeches by Polish President Andrzej Duda, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, Slovak President Zuzana Caputová, US President Joe Biden, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, Latvian President Egils Levits, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Estonian President Alar Karis.

Katalin Novák recalled that Hungary is providing shelter to people fleeing Ukraine and is also present on the ground with strong humanitarian and medical support in the troubled neighboring country. She added that since 24 February 2022, the situation has made it clear that every country must be able to defend itself, and NATO, the common defense alliance, is clearly the right framework for effective cooperation.

As the Hungarian President stated, it is in our fundamental interest to further strengthen NATO’s eastern wing, and Hungary fully supports this. She said that as an EU member state, especially within the Bucharest Nine, we should also focus on increasing the level of the country’s military capabilities. Katalin Novák further stressed that she also hoped that Sweden and Finland would soon become NATO members.

According to Katalin Novák, the presence of US President Joe Biden at the B9 meeting was a great opportunity to reaffirm the common commitment to peace. She also drew attention to the importance of protecting the rights of minorities in Ukraine. On this issue, she said, a country aspiring to become a member of the European Union has much to do.

During the summit in Warsaw, the Hungarian President held talks with Slovak President Zuzana Caputová, among others. Before the event, Katalin Novák was received by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

“Before the Warsaw summit, I met with an old friend, Mateusz Morawiecki. The Polish-Hungarian friendship is not just a historical slogan, but a present-day reality. We hope that the war will end as soon as possible, but we are sure that Polish-Hungarian friendship will last forever,” Katalin Novák said in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

At the meeting, Mateusz Morawiecki said that Europe is facing economic challenges in addition to war. He added that he and the Hungarian president also discussed the Russian-Ukrainian war, economic challenges, the energy crisis and inflation. He said that “I am glad that our Hungarian friends understand the magnitude of the threats we face in the near future”.

Besides attending the B9 Summit, the Hungarian President also met the Archbishop of Warsaw on Wednesday, and visited the grave of Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski. Katalin Novák said that she went to the Cardinal’s grave on Ash Wednesday, because Hungary and Poland share a common role model in the fight against communism and the Soviets, and the late Cardinal said that peace and prudence are needed.

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Featured photo via MTI/Sándor-palota/Bartos Gyula

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