Hungarian State Minister for Foreign Affairs Levente Magyar held trade talks with a number of American corporations as well as met with the heads of various Jewish-American organizations on his recent visit to New York from September 12-15.

Hungarian Minister of State Levente Magyar held trade negotiations with a number of high-profile American corporations and met with various religious and secular Jewish organizations on his three-day visit to New York City from September 12-15.

State Minister Magyar told Hungarian news agency MTI by telephone much of the first day of trade talks were focused on large companies marketing kosher foods. Magyar stressed that “this is an excellent opportunity for Hungary because it has all the necessary capacities to also export to this American market.” “Hungarian agriculture is suffering from precisely the fact that it does not have enough solvent markets,” added the State Minister. 

Levente Magyar also met with a number of leaders and representatives of the religious Jewish communities in Brooklyn, including several with Hungarian roots, and exchanged views with Chabad Jews, Satmar Hasidic Jews and the Chief Rabbi of Munkács.

“Orthodox communities with Hungarian or partly Hungarian Jewish roots are very friendly towards Hungary and have an emotional attachment to Hungary”, the Minister of State said. "These people regularly travel home to Hungary to visit their ancestors’ graves and were extremely happy to hear the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs’ announcement that the Hungarian Government has a special program for renovating Jewish cemeteries," Magyar added.

Magyar stressed that Hungary is also in the middle of its first ever general census of Jewish cemeteries. “Work is already in progress, partly with the participation of the Hungarian Government and partly with that of Hungarian Jewish organizations,” said Magyar, adding that the New York organization of Satmar Hasidic Jews and the Jewish Heritage Foundation also indicated that it would like to participate in cemetery maintenance work with both expertise and financing.
 
On the final day of his visit, the State Ministervisited the Simon Wiesenthal Center and met with representatives of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), two directors of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and with Rabbi Arthur Schneier, who is of Hungarian origin and has earned recieved internationa recognition for his promotion of inter-religious dialogue.

Magyar also emphasized that the heads of Jewish organizations with whom he met all provided reassurances of their belief that the recent comments by UN Ambassador Samantha Power alleging anti-Semitism in Hungary were over-exaggerated.

(MTI/Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)