Hungarian-Serbian bilateral relations better than ever

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Hungarian-Serbian bilateral relations better than ever said the Speaker of the Hungarian Parliament László Kövér and his Serbian counterpart Maja Gojkovic in a joint press-conference in Belgrade on Thursday. According to Kövér, the two governments are working hard to lay the foundation of a strategic partnership in the current parliamentary term, which opens up a prosperous new era in bilateral relations.

Kövér stressed that the interests of the two countries are very similar on several issues. Budapest supports Belgrade's effort to speed up EU integration. For our part, we want to contribute to this process as much as we can so that Serbia can join the European Union as soon as possible said the speaker of the Hungarian parliament.

Hungary considers the western Balkans' Euro-Atlantic integration a strategic issue said the president of the Hungarian National Assembly, adding that among those countries, Serbia is the most important, "not least because more than a quarter of a million ethnic Hungarians live in the neighboring country."

The two sides confirmed that they will intensify legislative cooperation between the two countries. Hungarian experiences on foreign policy, European integration, agricultural and environmental issues could be especially useful for the Serbian government.

"Based on our experiences we can say that there is still a very difficult and perhaps long period ahead of Serbia before the country can join the European Union. (...) We also know from experience that life won't be easier for the average person even after Serbia joins the European Union - life will remain difficult but in a different way said Kövér.

Two important issues were also discussed by the two sides - the construction of the Turkish Stream pipeline and the Budapest-Belgrade railway. "These projects are so important that they can't wait until the participating countries become members of the European Union" said Kövér.

Serbian House Speaker Maja Gojkovic pointed out that relationship between the two countries are excellent and there are no open issues in bilateral relations; the Serbian house speaker also emphasized the importance of the role of the Danube strategic initiative. This issue is especially important for the Serbian side, because in this framework both EU and non-EU countries can participate in the project. The Serbian house speaker also pointed out that besides the Danube strategy initiative the two countries also linked by the Serbian minority in Hungary and the Hungarian minority in Serbia.

The two house speakers also agreed that they will hold a memorial service in the Serbian capital at the 560th anniversary of the historic victory over Ottoman forces by a Hungarian-Serbian army led by János Hunyadi.

In addition, the two countries will establish a foundation to honor historical personalities greatly contributed to the common history of each others countries.

László Kövér will also meet Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and the President of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic; later on, he visits Székelykeve, which is southernmost settlements of ethnic Hungarians in Serbia.

(MTI – hungarianambiance.com)

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