Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Hungary signs cooperation action plan with Bosnia and Herzegovina

Representatives of Hungary have signed a foreign policy cooperation action plan with Bosnia and Herzegovina aimed at starting early talks on the latter country's European integration, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in Sarajevo on Friday.

The foreign ministry quoted Szijjarto as saying at a press conference held jointly with Bosnian counterpart Elmedin Konakovic that Europe could gain “new momentum, new energies and ambition” through integrating the Western Balkans.

“The European Union has at least as great an interest in your fast accession as you have in becoming members,” Szijjarto said, adding that the upcoming Hungarian EU presidency would see it as a top priority to “significantly” accelerate the Western Balkans integration process. He also said that fast integration of the region could result in “stability and calm” in its countries. “All those slowing down the integration of the Western Balkans are working against security in the EU and the interests of the Western Balkans,” the minister added.

Launching accession talks with Bosnia and Herzegovina will be high on the agenda of the Hungarian presidency, Szijjarto said, noting that the aspirant had submitted its application to join as long as eight years ago.

Meanwhile, Szijjarto offered training to 50 young diplomats or public administration experts at the Hungarian Diplomatic Academy. He also noted that the EUFOR ALTHEA mission had recently been taken over by a Hungarian commander, adding that the troops included 264 Hungarian soldiers.

Concerning illegal migration, Szijjarto said “Hungary has a clear stance and will firmly act against illegal migration during its presidency . we want to make it clear that Europe can only be entered in a legal way.” “We will also fight the migration quotas and will try and make Brussels not to encourage migrants to come to Europe,” he added.

On the subject of bilateral ties, Szijjarto said the two countries had built close cooperation in recent years, with bilateral trade turnover breaking a record 600 million euros.

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