Budapest, January 27 (MTI) – Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó met Srdjan Darmanovic, his Montenegrin counterpart, in Budapest on Friday to discuss Montenegro’s Euro-Atlantic integration.
The integration of the western Balkan countries into the European Union and NATO would guarantee long-term stability and peace in the region, Szijjártó said after the talks.
“We are in a race against time,” Szijjártó said, arguing that tensions had recently been rising in the region while Europe had remained under constant migration pressure from the south. If the effects of the two phenomena were to combine, new destabilising phenomena could emerge, and Hungary and Europe’s interests lie in preventing this, Szijjártó said.
Hungary is committed to speeding up the integration process, Szijjártó said. He noted that Hungary serves as NATO’s ambassador in Montenegro, and Hungarian experts have been employed to support the integration process.
On another subject, Szijjártó mentioned that Hungary is Montenegro’s fourth largest investor, and that Hungary’s Eximbank has set up a pool of 85 million euros to provide loans aimed at promoting business cooperation between firms of the two countries.
Szijjártó also said that Wizzair was scheduled to operate a direct flight between Budapest and Podgorica from April.
Darmanovic said joining the EU and NATO were the two most important strategic goals for Montenegro after gaining independence. He spoke highly of Hungary’s contribution to his country’s achievements. The Montenegrin minister also voiced sympathy over the recent bus crash in which 16 Hungarians died.
Before the press conference, parties at the talks signed an agreement of cooperation in the areas of culture, sports and youth.