OREANDA-NEWS. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Levente Magyar held talks with American Jewish organisations in New York.

The Minister of State’s three-day visit, which ended on Wednesday, had two goals: trade negotiations and the usual and regular exchange of views with religious and secular Jewish organisations and personalities in the United States.

Mr. Magyar told Hungarian news agency MTI by telephone that on the first day of his official visit he held negotiations on trade with large companies that market kosher foods and would like to forge or expand relations with Hungarian partners. The Minster of State stressed: “This is an excellent opportunity for Hungary because it has all the necessary capacities to also export to this American market”.

Hungarian products are already present on this market, but Hungarian partners would most definitely like to expand their horizons, and there is effective demand for these products in the United States. “Hungarian agriculture is suffering from precisely the fact that it does not have enough solvent markets”, Mr. Magyar pointed out, adding that the companies whose representatives he held talks with in New York are amongst the largest of their kind in the United States. As an example, he mentioned the fact that sixty truckloads of food-a-day roll out of the warehouse of one of these food industry companies.

On Tuesday, Mr. Magyar met with the leaders and representatives of religious Jewish communities in Brooklyn, including some with Hungarian roots. He exchanged views with Chabad Jews, Satmar Hasidic Jews and the Chief Rabbi of Munk?cs, he told the press.

“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 of his experiences. 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 programme for renovating Jewish cemeteries, he said.

Mr. Magyar stressed that this is the first time that a general census of Jewish cemeteries is taking place in Hungary; their numbers are estimated at some 1400, but only very few are in proper condition.

“Work is already in progress, partly with the participation of the Hungarian Government and partly with that of Hungarian Jewish organisations”, Mr. Magyar told MTI, adding that the New York organisation of Satmar Hasidic Jews, the Jewish Heritage Foundation, also indicated that it would like to participate in cemetery maintenance work with both expertise and financing.