Hungary, Serbia vow to reinforce ties amid regional tensions

World Saturday 18/May/2024 15:30 PM
By: Xinhua
Hungary, Serbia vow to reinforce ties amid regional tensions

Budapest: Hungary's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto stressed on Friday the importance of his country's alliance with Serbia amid heightened regional tensions.

Szijjarto, at a joint press conference in Budapest with his visiting Serbian counterpart, Marko Djuric, highlighted the development of bilateral ties in recent years, citing Serbia's grant of extensive rights to the Hungarian national minority in Vojvodina, as well as Hungary's reliance on natural gas from Serbia.

The two countries, plus Slovenia, have established a joint regional electricity exchange, which has enhanced supply and mitigated price rises.

Plans are also underway to build an oil pipeline connecting Hungary and Serbia, as well as Europe's most modern border crossing in the Roszke region. A railway line linking Budapest and Belgrade is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

Hungary is preparing for its upcoming presidency of the European Union (EU), during which it aims to advance Serbia's EU membership bid by opening the third chapter of accession negotiations, Szijjarto said.

He also announced Hungary's intention to vote against a UN General Assembly resolution that aims to "demonize the entire Serbian nation" in connection with the Srebrenica tragedy.

Hungary will also oppose Kosovo's membership application to the Council of Europe, advocating for the success of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue before any application to international organizations, according to the top diplomat.

Djuric praised Hungary's achievements in defending its national interests and economic growth, which serve as an inspiration for Serbia.

He also conveyed a message from President Aleksandar Vucic, affirming that Serbia will not forget Hungary's friendship and support, and underlined the importance of the exemplary minority rights enjoyed by the Serbian community in Hungary.