Senta, Serbia, September 23 (MTI) – Hungary and Serbia want to tighten economic cooperation “because friendship is ever more important in challenging periods”, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Wednesday.

Hungarian Foreign Minister and Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic attended the opening of vehicle cable producer Tisza Automotive’s plant in Senta (Zenta) in Vojvodina.

Hungarian-Serbian friendship has become especially important during the migrant crisis, and this needs to be expressed in everyday events such as developments implemented through joint efforts, Szijjarto said.

Szijjarto said that car production is a flagship industry for the Hungarian economy and all such investment projects show that Hungarian and Serbian workforces are able to meet European demands. Bilateral trade between Hungary and Serbia was record high at 1.7 billion euros last year and there was a 4 percent increase in the first six months of this year. He added, however, that the closing of the Roszke border crossing will show in the annual figure.

Vucic said the number of Hungarian investors in Serbia is on the increase and there is also growing interest in privatisation transactions.

“I am convinced that Serbia and Hungary face a bright common future,” he added.

The politicians also discussed problems caused by the migrant crisis.

Szijjarto said that neither the Hungarian nor the Serbian government would allow bilateral relations falling victim to the problems caused by migration.

He said he had talked to Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic on Tuesday and also discussed the economic problems that the closing of the Serbiab-Croatian border posed to Serbia. Migration is increasingly causing economic problems in Europe because new measures also affect people who want to cross the borders lawfully.

Szijjarto said the mandatory quotas for the distribution of refugees do not solve the problems because ever since disputes started about distributing 120,000 people, many more has entered the European Union.

Greece is causing problems by not being able to protect is external borders, and Croatia is causing problems by neglecting European regulations and solidarity by transporting thousands of refugees to Hungary while giving an ultimatum to Serbia to direct refugees towards Hungary, Szijjarto said.

The Serbian government has so far “very correctly” rejected these ultimatums and “the prime minister assured me that they will continue to reject them because they also consider Croatia’s behaviour unacceptable”, he added.

“Hungary is subjected to undeserving attacks from the Croatian prime minister. It is time that the Croatian prime minister fights the Croatian election campaign in Croatia and leaves us out of it”, Szijjarto said.

Hungary has been attacked by Croatia over its handling of migration, “yet within a day Croatia’s migrant services system collapsed and Croatian demonstratively announced that it would not act in line with EU regulations … but send refugees to Hungary without registering them,” Szijjarto added.

Croatia’s closing of the most important border crossing to Serbia has caused serious economic difficulties to Serbia, he said.

Photo: MTI


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