Budapest (MTI) – Trade, cultural and political ties between Hungary and Serbia “have never been better”, foreign minister Péter Szijjártó said ahead of a joint cabinet meeting of the two countries’ governments on Sunday.
Both governments and both prime ministers have done much to replace an earlier tense relationship with one of cooperation, Szijjártó said in Nis, in the south of Serbia.
Hungary is committed to the European Union’s expansion in the Western Balkans, he said.
“We don’t understand why the president of the European Commission recently said there would be no expansion in the coming five years,” he said. “We want to see an expansion of the EU in the coming five years, and Serbia has the best chance to become an EU member the soonest,” he added.
Szijjártó noted that Hungary’s government has allocated 20 billion forints (EUR 64m) in grant money and 30 billion forints in preferential credit for economic developments in Serbia’s Vojvodina region, home to a large number of ethnic Hungarians.
Serbian foreign minister Ivica Dacic told the local crew of Pannon RTV before the joint cabinet meeting that economic and political ties between Serbia and Hungary are extraordinarily good. He also voiced his appreciation of supportive remarks by Hungary’s prime minister and foreign minister in international forums. “For us, that is enormous political capital,” he said.
In addition to economic cooperation, Serbia and Hungary can work together in the areas of education, culture, infrastructure and energy, Dacic said.