Hungary will support all measures aimed at strengthening peace, stability and economy in the Western Balkans and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the region, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said after talks with Christian Schmidt, High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Budapest on Thursday.
In a joint press conference, Szijjártó said Europe faced serious challenges and that Hungary was under “double pressure” posed by migration from the east and the south. “In such a situation, the last thing we need is another security challenge,” he said, calling on the international community “to keep the Western Balkans in sight.” “Failing to do so would be a big mistake and would have serious security implications,” Szijjártó said.
He described the stability of the region as “critical importance” for the whole of the European Union and added that it was essential to ensure peace and stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina. “That is why it is high time to accelerate the [EU] integration,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina is particularly important for Hungary due to the geographical proximity of this country, which is why the Hungarian government supports any measure aimed at strengthening stability and rejects any proposal that would further destabilize the country and the region. , said Szijjártó.
The Hungarian Foreign Minister underlined the importance of a continuous dialogue based on mutual respect between the leaders of the international community and the Western Balkans. He said that “with political tools such as interference in internal affairs and a policy of sanctions, no success can be achieved in the Western Balkans.”
He affirmed Hungary’s full support for the integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina into the EU and the extension of the mandate of the EU peacekeeping mission with 134 Hungarian soldiers serving there.
In terms of support, Szijjártó also noted the €35 million business development program that Hungary has launched to help strengthen Bosnia and Herzegovina’s stability through the development of its economy.
Asked about the recent proposal by Manfred Weber, the President of the European People’s Party (EPP), on a fair distribution of natural gas arriving in the EU, Szijjártó said that “Hungarian gas storages will remain Hungarian property, gas purchased with taxpayers’ money and kept in Hungarian gas storages will be used in Hungary.Weber’s proposal reminds us somewhat of communism,” the foreign minister said.