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Selaković and Szijjártó: We are witnessing the brightest moments in Serbia―Hungary relations – 7 February 2022

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia Nikola Selaković met with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary Péter Szijjártó in Belgrade today.

At the press conference following the meeting, Minister Selaković emphasised that Serbia and Hungary were experiencing the best and the brightest moments in the history of their bilateral relations which were formalised with the last year’s signing of the strategic cooperation agreement by the respective Prime Ministers, Viktor Orbán and Ana Brnabić.

“The quality and the frequency of our dialogue are proof of the good relations between Serbia and Hungary, a road paved by Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vučić and Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán,” Minister Selaković said, noting how the personal relationship between the two leaders can forge exceptional bonds between the two peoples and the two countries. Minister Selaković explained that Hungary’s Prime Minister and he discussed the overall cooperation between the two countries: economic cooperation as well as cooperation in infrastructure and energy sectors.

In terms of economic cooperation, Minister Selaković said trade in 2021 had reached its peak, i.e. that trade went over the 2 billion euros limit, making Hungary our top EU partner, along with Germany and Italy.

“Cooperation on infrastructural projects as well as the construction of the fast rail between our capital cities and the Balkan Stream for energy connectivity are very important,” Minister Selaković stated, adding that he had also discussed with Minister Szijjártó the status of members of national minorities and cooperation in the border belt.

Minister Selaković further noted that cooperation between the two Foreign Affairs Ministries was on an upward trajectory, highlighting the importance of the Collocation Agreement. “As of several weeks ago, for the first time Serbia has its permanent diplomatic presence in Valleta, Malta, within the Diplomatic-Consular Representation (DCR) of Hungary. Knowing how large our community is in Malta, this will allow them to sort out their affairs more efficiently and more expeditiously,” he said. Minister Selaković expressed a special gratitude to Minister Szijjártó for his personal efforts to advocate for Serbia’s need to become a full member of the EU as soon as possible.

Minister Szijjártó stated that a strategic partnership between Serbia and Hungary was mutually beneficial, highlighting several of the most important results of the advanced Serbia―Hungary cooperation in the field of economics, energy, fight against illegal migration, and dealings with national minority communities.

On the topic of energy, Minister Szijjártó stated that Serbia and Hungary would be suffering the energy crisis that has shaken up the western part of Europe, had they not been cooperating in this area. “Had we succumbed to the threats of sanctions, had we not defended our own national interests, and had we not build the gas pipeline, today we would be having serious problems,” he emphasised.

Minister Szijjártó also said he was pleased on account of the successful cooperation in the prevention of illegal migration, to mutual benefit. Concerning the minority communities, Minister Szijjártó stressed that, out of all the Hungarians living outside of their fatherland, it was those living in Vojvodina who were being treated the most fairly by their home state, and that national minorities linked and advanced the two countries. He explained that the fate of the two countries as well as of the Hungarians in Serbia and the Serbs in Hungary would be decided at the upcoming elections taking place in both Serbia and in Hungary on 3 April.

“I wish your President and your Government much success at the elections, and let us hope that the results of the elections on both sides of the border will be such that the two peoples may enjoy the benefits of our cooperation for a very long time”, he concluded.


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