Hungary and Armenia re-establish diplomatic relations after ten years

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto with his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoian during a meeting on the margins of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Ministerial Council in Poland. – MINISTERIO DE EXTERIORES DE ARMENIA

The authorities of Hungary and Armenia have agreed Thursday to restore their diplomatic relations, broken ten years ago by Yerevan after Budapest facilitated the repatriation of an Azeri soldier who killed an Armenian officer.

The foreign ministers of Armenia and Hungary, Ararat Mirzoian and Peter Szijjarto, have reached this agreement after a meeting on the margins of the Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), in the Polish city of Lodz.

According to a communiqué of the Armenian diplomacy, Mirzoian and Szijjarto agreed that both nations have «deep historical and cultural ties», so they have advocated to «improve relations» between Yerevan and Budapest.

«They agreed to restore full diplomatic relations, expressing their intention to open a new chapter in their relations based on mutual trust and respect for international law,» reads the aforementioned Armenian Foreign Ministry statement.

To ensure the smooth course of their relations, the two governments have pledged to appoint non-resident ambassadors to try to boost areas such as trade, culture, education and tourism.

Armenian authorities cut diplomatic ties with Hungary in August 2012 in response to the Magyar government’s decision to allow the return to their country of an Azerbaijani soldier who in 2004 had killed an Armenian officer, thus allowing his pardon and immediate release from prison.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have had major differences since the 1991 war between the Azeri and Armenian communities in the Armenian-majority enclave of Nagorno Karabakh. A cease-fire was signed in 1994, but relations remain strained, with frequent clashes on the border.