Katalin Novak - Photo: Facebook

President Novak visits Sarajevo

President Katalin Novak, paying a visit to Sarajevo, on Tuesday met members of the state presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina before having talks with Borjana Kristo, the country's Chairwoman of the Council of Ministers.

The European integration of the Western Balkans, the EUFOR Althea mission, demographic issues, and economic and cultural relations were topics on the agenda of talks, Sandor Palace said in a statement on Tuesday.

Novak noted Hungary’s support for the European integration of the Western Balkans and praised the role of Hungarian soldiers in the EUFOR Althea mission.

On Wednesday, she will visit the soldiers participating in the mission and lay a wreath on the memorial statue of fallen soldiers and participate in the ceremonial handover of the mission’s command.

Novak said that while the EU may be experiencing enlargement fatigue, countries of the Western Balkans must also be included in accession talks which now embrace Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.

During its last EU presidency, Hungary made progress in advancing the region’s EU integration, she said, adding that this time round it would be a priority of its presidency in the second half of the year.

Defence Minister Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky, present at the meeting, said Major General Laszlo Sticz, among the most experienced members of the Hungarian general staff, will take over the leadership of the Althea mission.

Bosnian leaders said they were keenly interested in Hungarian family-friendly measures.

Novak said that a country had no future if no children were born, and Hungary was glad to share its experience in this area.

She also highlighted possibilities inherent in the Stipendium Hungaricum programme, which, she said, may contribute to strengthening relations between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Hungary.

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