Last week, the official said that both countries are solidifying their commitment by moving forward with a gas purchase agreement.
Hungary “strongly supports” the exemption of Qataris from the Schengen visa, prime minister Viktor Orban told Qatar’s news agency (QNA) on Sunday.
During the interview with QNA, Orban said a visa exemption was discussed during a round of political consultations between Qatar and Hungary in March.
“He explained that they [March meetings] dealt with two issues, namely the preparation for his (current) visit to the State of Qatar, and the issue of exempting Qataris from the Schengen visa, which, Hungary – as a member of the European Union, strongly supports,” QNA reported.
In April last year, the European Commission proposed an entry visa exemption for Qatari and Kuwaiti citizens travelling to its member states for up to 90 days. The move would see the two Gulf states would join the UAE, which was added to the visa-free regime in 2014.
The decision would be applicable to all EU member states except for Ireland. Other Schengen associated countries that are not subject to the visa waiver include Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
Qatar had welcomed the proposal, describing it as “an evidence of improving bilateral ties in all fields” between the Gulf state and the EU.
In June last year, the Council of the European Union said the move to negotiate such a mandate was approved by the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper), SchengenVisaInfo.com said at the time.
The last update on Qatari citizens’ exemption for Schengen visa came on December 2, when the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs (LIBE) approved the proposal.
Meanwhile, the Hungarian prime minister told QNA that his country is “keen” on further cooperation with Qatar in multiple fields, including energy, agriculture and infrastructure, and air transport.
With European countries still seeking energy supply in light of the Russian war on Ukraine, Orban said that Hungary seeks to purchase liquified natural gas (LNG) from Qatar after 2026.
Last week, Orban said that both countries are solidifying their commitment by moving forward with a gas purchase agreement.
The official said talks are still ongoing with the Gulf nation, though supplies are unlikely to arrive before 2026, Orban said in a Bloomberg interview on the sidelines of the Qatar Economic Forum.
“Over the past year, we have learned that Qatar is a country of key importance for Europe. The European economy has made up for a significant part of the missing Russian gas with LNG coming from here… We agreed on energy cooperation, we will also buy gas from here – it is always better to stand on several legs than on one,” Orban said.