Hungary sees the European integration of the Western Balkans as its strategic interest, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said after talks with Meliza Haradinaj-Stublla, Kosovo’s minister of foreign affairs and diaspora, in Budapest on Thursday.
Having peace and progress in the Western Balkans is in Hungary’s interest, Szijjártó told a press conference he held jointly with Haradinaj-Stublla. “If the opposite is the case, that’s bad for Hungary,” the minister said.
“Whatever happens in the region, it will have an immediate effect on Hungary.”
Hungary does more than just talk about the importance of supporting the Western Balkans, Szijjártó said, adding that the country also does its part in aiding the region. Often Hungary even punches above its weight when it comes to advancing peace and stability, he said.
Haradinaj-Stublla expressed Kosovo’s appreciation for the continuous support Hungary has given to Kosovo and the Western Balkans region.
As regards economic ties, Szijjarto said Hungary has agreed with Kosovo to launch a 62 million euro tied aid programme. Under the programme, Hungarian companies are building two water treatment plants and undertaking infrastructure projects in Kosovo, he said. The country is also using cooling technologies developed in Hungary in the construction of its power plants, he added.
Hungary will now also offer university scholarships to 75 Kosovan students, Szijjarto said.