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President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić on a visit to Hungary - 20. August 2023

The President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, paid a two-day visit to Hungary, during which he attended the ceremonies marking the Hungarian National Day and the opening of the World Championships in Athletics - Budapest 2023. During the visit, President Vučić also had separate meetings with the Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban, the President of Hungary Katalin Novak, as well as the President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On the first day of the visit, President Vučić met with Bishop Lukijan of Buda in Szentendre, after which he was presented with the Order of the Diocese of Buda of the First Order.  
"I am with the Bishop of Buda, Mr. Lukijan, in Szentendre, a place that exudes a special spirituality as it bears witness to the history of our people and their settlement in these tame regions of Hungary and their survival from the 17th century until today. Many pages of history have been written since then, but these that we are creating today with our Hungarian friends, represent a roadmap for the future of our relations, the strong partnership and trust that we have built together for the benefit of all our citizens," the president pointed out and added that he was honored by the Order he received from Bishop Lukijan, but also proud of the fact that he is the only president who has been awarded the Order of Saint Sava of the Serbian Orthodox Church. He stated that today it is much easier for the Government of Serbia to do something good for the Serbian community in Hungary because Serbia has sincere friends in Budapest. 
"All the credit for that should go to the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban. He had the courage, desire and vision to build the future with the Serbs. We have never been this close in the past. I am proud of the fact that we have done a lot on this in previous years", said President Vučić. He thanked the citizens who attended the ceremony, but also for the fact that, as he said, they are always with the state of Serbia. 
"For the first time in Europe and the world, they are at war in one way or another, and we are trying not to be the ones who will lose our children. We want peace in Ukraine as soon as possible. We are facing numerous problems in Kosovo and Metohija. Some people want to expel our people from place which was their home for centuries. We manage to save our people and holy places with our hands tied. I am afraid that times will be even more difficult," the president said, adding that the Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo and Metohija can always count on the help of the Government of Serbia. 
President Vučić attended the opening ceremony of the World Championships in Athletics and on that occasion he met with Prince Albert II of Monaco and the President of Hungary Katalin Novak. He stated that he was satisfied with the content of the talks in Budapest and expressed great gratitude to the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban, for his hospitality. 
On the second day of the visit, President Vučić met with the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban, and said at the press conference that they discussed numerous projects, from the construction of the Belgrade-Budapest railway, the athletics stadium and gas storage facilities. He stated that they also discussed the border crossing between Serbia and Hungary, where something that has not been seen before will be built. 
"We will try to make one control, not two, for the citizens of Serbia and Hungary, the biggest thing that requires hundreds of millions of euros of investment," said President Vučić. 
The President said that he also discussed the situation in Kosovo and Metohija with Hungarian Prime Minister Orban and assessed that Hungary perfectly understands the situation in Kosovo and Metohija, stressing that the Serbian and Hungarian people feel closeness in every place and at every step. 
"We talked about the relations between Serbia and Hungary in the world of geopolitical and economic turbulence, about joint work on numerous projects and plans for the strong economic momentum of both countries in the coming period, in order to leave the new generations as solid as possible foundations for a common future, which were once upon a time set up by our famous ancestors. We are grateful to the Hungarian Government for everything. We also discussed the possible dangers related to the energy security of both countries and agreed on how to react politically and fundamentally protect our interests," the president pointed out. 
President Vučić stated that one of the important topics was the holding of the World Championships in Athletics. 
"Hungary is building its sports facilities in a fantastic way, they take over international organizations and bring them to Budapest, from water sports to many others. Thinking about the EXPO, we offered additional cooperation with Hungary. In the broader master plan, apart from the football national stadium, we want to build the kind of athletics stadium we saw yesterday," stressed President Vučić. 
During his visit to Budapest, on the second day of the visit, President Vučić met with the Serbian athletes participating in the World Athletics Championships and wished them success in the competitions. 
President Vučić also met with Tucker Carlson, a political commentator, with whom he exchanged opinions on numerous topics that burden the geopolitical agenda today. 
"During the conversation, there wasn't a topic that was too difficult or sensitive that there would be no conflicting opinions about it, and it is precisely this ease in decisively expressing his views that sets my interlocutor apart from the usual crowd. That's why this conversation was completely different - intriguing, meaningful, fully open and unique in many ways. They say that Tucker Carlson is controversial, provocative, too conservative, even pompous, and that it is dangerous and politically imprudent to talk to him. And I like such conversations," the president pointed out.   
Today, President Vučić also met with the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with whom he discussed current bilateral and regional issues. 
"It is important for us to maintain the best possible relations with Turkey, and this meeting was another step in the direction of strengthening the already good Serbian-Turkish cooperation in all areas of mutual interest. We discussed the importance of preserving peace and stability in the region, where we count on the constructive engagement of Turkey, as one of the most influential international factors in this part of the world," said President Vučić after the meeting. 
At the end of the two-day visit, President Vučić attended the celebration of Hungary's National Day and on that occasion expressed his gratitude to President Katalin Novak and Prime Minister Viktor Orban for the invitation. 
"I am proud of the friendship and cooperation between our countries and peoples, which we have raised to a historical maximum in recent years. I am convinced that through talks, mutual understanding and constructive cooperation we can do a lot together for the benefit of our countries and peoples. The relations between Serbia and Hungary are the best example of this. Once again, dear friends, I wish you all the best on the occasion of this great day, a symbol of your independence and libertarian spirit!"
Photo: Dimitrije Goll

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