Budapest, July 31 (MTI) – Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto and Ivica Dacic, his Serbian counterpart, reopened the border crossing between Hungary’s Roszke and Horgos, in Serbia, on Friday.

In his address at the ceremony, Szijjarto spoke highly of relations between Hungary and Serbia, adding that the two countries need to make joint efforts to eliminate “drawbacks arising from a central European location” such as difficulties in crossing borders, which hinders economic development. To that end, two further crossing stations with Serbia will be built, at Kubekhaza and Bacsszentgyorgy, he added.

With the new crossing facilities and longer opening hours at existing ones, Hungary and Serbia want to make “crossing in a law-abiding way” easier, Szijjarto said. But for illegal migrants it will be harder, he added.

Szijjarto noted that over 100,000 illegal immigrants had arrived in Hungary since the beginning of the year, mostly through Serbia. Hungary is obliged to protect is borders as well as the European Union’s external border, he insisted.

Serbia suffers from migration pressure just like Hungary, Szijjarto said, adding that a solution to the problem should be found outside the EU. The community should support third countries “on condition they reduce migration pressure”, he added.

Dacic said he hoped the time would soon come when Serbia, too, is a member of the European Union and no crossing facilities nor border police are needed any more.

Dacic said that though migrants also enter Serbia via EU countries. Serbia is unable to tackle the problem on its own, he said. Dacic also noted that while in 2008 a mere one hundred applications for asylum were submitted to Serbian authorities, those agencies are now handling some 60,000 such cases.

Dacic also said that Hungary-Serbia relations, charachterised by mutual trust and partnership, are now better than at any time over the past few decades.

Photo: MTI


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