RIYADH: The Hungarian Embassy in Riyadh organized a reception to celebrate the national day on October 23.
“It is a great honor for me to celebrate the anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution together with all prominent Saudi dignitaries, members of the diplomatic corps and friends of Hungary living and working in Saudi Arabia,” the Hungarian Ambassador said. Balazs Selmeci.
The Ambassador welcomed his esteemed guests, including the Ambassadors to the Kingdom of Greece, Austria, Iraq and Palestine.
Riyadh Mayor Prince Faisal bin Abdulaziz bin Mohammed bin Ayyaf Al-Miqrin attended the ceremony as guest of honor.
The reception opened with the Saudi and Hungarian national anthems. The Ambassador then delivered a speech thanking the participants and emphasizing the importance of such an important date in the history of Hungary.
“Every October, since the fall of communism, we remember the 13 glorious days of autumn 1956. We pay tribute to the heroes of the Hungarian uprising who opposed the oppressive communist regime,” he said.
“In 1996, we established diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia, and over the past 26 years we have laid the foundations of our bilateral relationship based on mutual political trust,” Selmeci said.
During his speech, the Ambassador told the story of Gyula Germanus, a Hungarian professor of Oriental studies, MP and writer who sparked relations with the Kingdom in the mid-1930s.
“Prof. Germanus – after his conversion as a Muslim, Julius Abdulkarim Germanus – was the first Hungarian Muslim to perform Hajj in Mecca in 1935. He not only performed Hajj, but even received permission to investigate the Black Stone, as he was once a better student of geology,” the ambassador said.
“Our Hungarian orientalist already established contact with our Saudi friends in 1936, about 100 years ago. Yes, our diplomatic relations are only 26 years old, but the relations between the two countries, especially the friendly relations between the two countries, (are) about a century old,” he said.
At the time, Germanus was a guest in the royal tent of the late King Abdulaziz and wrote a book about his travels in the holy land.
“He was one of the few Europeans who at that time could present to the world the true identity and beauty of Saudi Arabia, for which we all pay homage and salute him,” the ambassador said.
Selmeci stressed the importance of gathering other ambassadors and public figures of the Kingdom to celebrate this occasion.
In 2014, the Hungarian Embassy organized the first Arab-Hungarian Business Forum in Riyadh with the participation of 150 national companies. In 2023, they are preparing for the fourth session of the Hungarian-Saudi Joint Economic Commission.
Through the Joint Hungarian-Saudi Economic Commission, the Ambassador hopes to see Hungarian companies working in the Kingdom to contribute to Vision 2030.