Budapest, July 22 (MTI) – Hungary considers Montenegro an ally already because soldiers from the two countries serve together in Afghanistan and Montenegro, which contributes to the region’s security, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said at a NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in Montenegro.
He is attending a two-day meeting that started in Bar on Wednesday.
The foreign ministry said that on the sidelines of the meeting, Szijjarto will hold talks with Croatian counterpart Vesna Pusic, Romania’s Bogdan Aurescu and Poland’s Grzegorz Schetyna.
The meeting is aimed to help Montenegro’s NATO accession and Hungary is a dedicated supporter, the statement said. Montenegro’s Euro-Atlantic integration is key to the stability of the western Balkans, it added.
Szijjarto told the meeting that Montenegro unquestionably deserves to be accepted as a NATO member and its government has made every effort to meet the requirements. Montenegro should be invited to NATO by December this year and should it not happen, it will be detrimental to NATO members’ credibility, the statement quoted him as saying. Szijjarto added that it would be unacceptable to maintain the expectation that social support for NATO accession should be above 50 percent. Szijjarto cited Hungary’s past experience showing that inviting a country to NATO boosts social support for accession and added that this would be especially true in the case of Montenegro which had been rejected ONCE.
Montenegro stands ready for NATO membership, he told Pobjeda, a daily in Podgorica, ahead of the ministerial.
Szijjarto said that NATO is in “an enlargement mood” in favour of Montenegro, as had been shown at the meeting of its member states’ foreign ministers in Turkey in May, who spoke about that aspirant country only in positive terms.
Further, the Hungarian foreign minister commended Montenegro for steps taken towards EU accession, highlighting reforms concerning the rule of law.