President János Áder marked the 320th anniversary of the battle of Senta (in Hungarian: Zenta) together with Aleksandar Vucic, his Serbian counterpart, at a ceremony in Senta in Vojvodina (in Hungarian: Vajdaság/Délvidék) on Monday.
In his speech, Áder said “the nature of the peace we make with our neighbours and ultimately with ourselves, of what we leave behind, is of great importance.”
Áder said it was important that succeeding generations do not leave behind “the inhumane acts of the 20th century” but rather “a genuine apology and the knowledge that it is worthwhile to fight together for our countries, communities and European cultures.”
Vucic talked about the importance of Serbia supporting its neighbouring countries, saying that “Serbs have long known that their path to Europe goes through Budapest and Vienna.”
He said the battle of Senta was further proof that “together we are capable of anything, but if we are not unified, we will lose every battle.”
The president said Hungarian-Serbian relations were at an “all-time high”, adding that both the Hungarian minority in Serbia and Hungary’s ethnic Serb community enjoyed broad minority rights.
The two heads of state later laid a wreath at the monument for the battle of Senta at the embankment of the river Tisza.
In 1697, the allied Christian forces triumphed over the Ottoman army at the town of Senta, Serbia.
The defeat forced the sultan Mustafa II to abandon what had originally been planned as his conquest of Transylvania and return to Istanbul. The Ottoman Empire then entered into peace talks with the Holy League in early 1698. In 1699, the two sides signed the Treaty of Karlowitz which ended the 150-year Ottoman Turkish rule on much of Hungary’s territory.