The President of the Republic of Hungary, Ferenc Madl, accompanied by the Secretaries of State, Pal Becker and Peter Barsony was received by the Grand Master of the Order of Malta on June 19, 2002, in the Magistral Palace in Rome.
During the talks, apart from referring to excellent relations that exist between the Order and the Hungarian government, the President expressed his admiration for the humanitarian action carried out by the Order throughout the world and, in particular, in Hungary, through the Association and Hungarian Hospital Service (MMSZ).
Hereafter the official speech given by the Hungarian President during his visit.
The relations of Hungary and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta are ancient and cordial, although sometimes interrupted by the vicissitudes of history. The Hungarian people could always count on the support and help of the Sovereign Order in its struggle for independence and liberty over the centuries. Today the Sovereign Order and the Knights from Hungarian Republic are contributing a great deal to alleviate the sufferings of many Hungarians due to social problems, bad health or natural disasters.
The exceptional quality of our relationship is demonstrated by the fact that since the reestablishment of our diplomatic relations twelve years ago we have maintained a continuous dialog and so this is the forth meeting between the Grand Master of the Order and the President of the Republic of Hungary, We are convinced that these meetings greatly enhance the respect we feel towards the sovereign Order and its Grand Master.
The period of our newly reestablished relationship coincides with the presence of Your Most Eminent Highness at the helm of the Sovereign Order. During that period the diplomatic relations of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta have been greatly strengthened around the world along with its international recognition. This shows the vitality of the Order: we hear the voice of the Order on prestigious international fora in defence of peace, the freedom of conscience and religion, the dignity of the human person and the family.
We share the same values. We also believe that today’s world needs these, values. Therefore we also believe we must work together in the future as in the past for the sake of the defenceless and the helpless. We greatly appreciate the selfless work of the Hungarian Knights and that of the Hungarian Maltese Relief Service in this respect. Our contacts with their leadership is smooth and rewarding. I am also hopeful that the new Hungarian government will continue the policies of the former one, in taking advantage of their activities for the benefit of the Hungarian people.