September 28, 2012 - 18:57 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Issues around Hungary's repatriation of Ramil Safarov to Azerbaijan cannot be closed as yet, state secretary for foreign affairs Zsolt Nemeth said in an interview to the daily Nepszabadsag on Thursday, September 27, MTI Daily Bulletin reported.
Nemeth argued that the Hungarian decision entailed "many consequences and tasks" including tension with Armenia. He also said that there was a "serious bilateral loss of confidence" with the U.S., but added that it was rooted in a "fundamental misunderstanding".
The state secretary said that Hungary would make "all efforts" to restore Hungary-Armenia ties, adding that re-establishing diplomatic relations with that country in the next few months was a realistic goal.
Nemeth said that "there had been no direct compensation of any kind" for Hungary in return for its decision to repatriate Safarov at Azerbaijan's request.
Safarov was serving a life sentence for murdering an Armenian officer in Budapest in 2004.
Nemeth noted that Azerbaijan was an important partner not only for Hungary but for the whole of Europe. The country is rich in oil and gas, and has the potential to serve as a transit for alternative energy supplies to Europe, he added.
Azerbaijan's pardoning Safarov on his return may not have negative consequences impacting Hungarian-Azeri economic cooperation, however, the Azeri move "has left a thorn in the Hungarian government," Nemeth said.
On the subject of an upcoming visit by the Romanian foreign minister to Hungary, Nemeth said Hungary wants to find out if Romania is ready to further develop bilateral ties and "stay on the ground of solidarity" between countries in the region.