Subotica (Szabadka), April 13 (MTI) – Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó attended a ceremony in northern Serbia’s Subotica (Szabadka) on Thursday, in which 3,700 winners in the Hungarian government’s programme aimed at promoting ethnic Hungarian businesses signed their contracts.
Hungary and Serbia are mutually interested in each other’s success, Szijjártó said in his address. “A success story started in recent years, mostly about the achievements of Vojvodina Hungarians and Hungary’s Serbs,” he said.
Szijjártó referred to the government programme as “tangible proof that ties between Hungary and Serbia and their cooperation have never been as good as now”. He said that “earlier tensions rooted in history have now become historic friendship”, adding that both countries consider Vojvodina Hungarians as a link between the two nations.
In its programme, the Hungarian government has offered a total 65 billion forints (EUR 208m) to be distributed in loans and grants in the 2016-2018 period to support projects of agriculture, tourism and SME development to help young people prosper in their homeland.
Strong ethnic communities will make Hungary and Serbia stronger and promote bilateral ties, Szijjártó said. “It has taken courage and encouragement to local communities; it is good for ethnic kin if the two countries are on friendly terms, and a reasonable and fair policy based on mutual respect will be supported on both sides of the border,” he said.
Szijjártó also voiced support for Serbia’s European integration. “Serbia deserves to be an EU member and it has a place in the community,” he said, and insisted that “Hungary will never allow another EU member or even institutions in Brussels to prevent or hinder Serbia’s integration”. Serbia’s speedy integration is “in everybody’s interest”, he added.
Szijjártó congratulated Aleksandar Vucic’s winning Serbia’s presidential election and said that it was a victory for Vojvodina Hungarians, too.