Katalin Novak - Photo: Facebook

Novak: Hungary reliable ally

Hungary is a reliable ally that keeps its promises and "always says what it thinks", President Katalin Novak told ambassadors at an annual conference for Hungarian diplomats at the foreign ministry on Monday.

Hungary will always put national interests first and negotiate with its allies and other parties as equals, she said.

She said the situation of the Western Balkans was a crucial issue, and Hungary wanted to serve as a bridge between the parties when it came to those countries’ accession to the European Union.

“The region’s countries do not have to prove they are European. The countries of the Western Balkans are clearly European, as is their culture,” she said. Their European integration “will restore the natural order of things”, she added.

Regarding the war in Ukraine, Novak said Hungary’s position was “crystal clear”: Hungary had condemned Russian aggression “from the start” and stood by Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, she said. In view of the fact that Hungarians living in Ukraine are losing their lives in the war, Hungary is pro-peace, she added.

Hungary will continue to stand by the rights Hungarians living in Ukraine as a minority, she said. “We can’t be expected to make compromises that would curb or strip Transcarpathian Hungarians of their rights,” she said.

Hungary will also host “events for our allies”, she said. The fifth Budapest Demographic Forum will be held on September 14-15, and an event for female leaders around the world is in the works, to be held during Hungary’s EU presidency in the second half of 2024, she said.

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