Joseph Muscat is friend of Hungary, Viktor Orban says

Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat holds meeting with his Hungarian counterpart at the end of a quick tour of key EU states ahead of Malta assuming the presidency of the Council of the European Union in January

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat (left) with his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban in Budapest
Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat (left) with his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban in Budapest

Hungary understands Malta’s position on immigration, despite divergent national policies on how to deal with the influx of refugees and asylum seekers into the European Union, according to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

Muscat, who met Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Budapest on Thursday, said that he too understood the position his counterpart had adopted in the issue of immigration and that the meeting had focused on Malta’s upcoming presidency of the Council of the European Union and not on national agendas.

The two prime ministers discussed job creation and the economy, among other subjects on which the two countries agree that a liberal approach is needed.

“Today’s meeting helped us understand each other better,” Muscat said. “We cannot speak of a final solution to these issues, but we need to make progress during Malta’s presidency.”

Orban described Muscat as a friend of Hungary and spoke of the two countries’ cooperation in various European institutions, despite the two leaders’ different political beliefs and backgrounds.

He praised Malta’s preparations for the six-month presidency starting in January and said Hungary was prepared to be an important partner for Malta in its efforts to produce positive results for Europe.

Hungary was the last stop in a quick tour of seven EU member states for Muscat, who said other meetings were planned for the coming weeks and months.

He said he had chosen to visit countries that had a specific agenda and that were pushing for different solutions to a number of issues.

“Our aim is to find a solution to existing controversies, irrespective of our thoughts and beliefs,” Muscat said.

More in National