Péter Szijjártó and Ararat Mirzoyan meeting on the sidelines of OSCE Ministerial Council in Łódź, Poland

ŁÓDŹ, POLAND — Armenia and Hungary officially agreed on Thursday to restore their diplomatic relations frozen by Yerevan a decade ago.

Both sides agreed that there are deep historical and cultural ties, as well as shared Christian heritage between the Armenian and Hungarian nations and highlighted the importance of improving the relations between the Republic of Armenia and Hungary. They also underlined the role of the Armenian community in Hungary, as an officially recognized national minority, which is one of the bridges between the two nations.

The Ministers exchanged views about the current stage of relations between Armenia and Hungary. They agreed to restore full diplomatic relations, expressing their intention to open a new chapter in their relations based on mutual trust and respect towards international law.

As a follow-up to the meeting, the two Governments will appoint non-resident Ambassadors to explore the possibilities of the development of their relations – especially in the fields of trade, culture, education, and tourism. The necessary diplomatic and administrative procedures will begin in the coming days.

Armenia cut ties in 2012 after the Hungarian government controversially extradited to Azerbaijan an Azerbaijani army officer who hacked to death a sleeping Armenian colleague in Budapest in 2004. The officer, Ramil Safarov, whom a Hungarian court sentenced to life imprisonment in 2006, was pardoned, rewarded and promoted by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on his return to Azerbaijan.

The Hungarian government claimed to have received prior assurances by Baku that Safarov would serve the rest of his life sentence in an Azerbaijani prison. Yerevan dismissed that explanation.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban had travelled to Baku and met with Aliyev two months before Safarov’s release. Orban has long maintained a warm rapport with the Azerbaijani leader.

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