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President Novák on a State Visit to Portugal

Hungarian President Katalin Novák (L) and Portugese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa

The Russian-Ukrainian war, the need to reach a peace agreement between the two sides as soon as possible, demographic issues and the strengthening of the national defense forces and the volunteer reserve forces were among the topics discussed by Hungarian President Katalin Novák and Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa in Lisbon on Thursday.

In a joint press conference with the Portuguese President, Katalin Novák said that this was her first state visit in Portugal and that the relationship between the two countries was characterized by friendship and alliance. She added that on Thursday she received the highest Portuguese state decoration for foreigners, the Order of Prince Henry Grand Collar.

Katalain Novák said that she and the Portuguese president share the same position on the war, with the aim of achieving peace, a ceasefire and peace talks as soon as possible. She also drew attention to the situation of the 150,000 Hungarians living in Transcarpathia, Ukraine, and the violation of their rights.

The Hungarian President stressed that

the demographic crisis is affecting the whole of Western Europe, and that Hungary has been working for about 10 years to reduce depopulation.

In the future, Portuguese and Hungarian experts will be able to share their experiences, she said, adding that she invited the Portuguese President to the Network of Pro-family Presidents and to the Demography Summit in Budapest in September. She also recalled that next year we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, and on this occasion she will invite the Portuguese President to visit Hungary.

Thirdly, Katalin Novák mentioned the issue of the defense forces. She said that Portugal has 200,000 volunteer reservists, which is an example for Hungary. She added that a recruitment campaign had been launched in Hungary to increase the number of volunteer reservists and strengthen the national defense.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa underlined that Portugal and Hungary are linked in several points, such as NATO, the United Nations and the European Union, as well as the Arraiolos Group. He stressed the need for a forward-looking, socially just Europe.

Katalin Novák met Deputy Prime Minister Mariana Vieira da Silva on Thursday and visited the exhibition of Árpád Szenes at the Vieira da Silva Museum. On Friday, she will meet President Augusto Santos Silva and will address the Lisbon City Council and receive the keys to the city of Lisbon from Carlos Moedas, Mayor of Lisbon.

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In September 2022, the Hungarian President announced the creation of the Network of Pro-family Presidents, to which she first invited the Serbian head of state, Aleksandar Vucic. Katalin Novák stressed that this will be a network of family-friendly, family-oriented presidents. Now the network has expanded by inviting the Portugal President.

Featured photo via MTI/Bruzák Noémi

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