Diplomacy / Serbs in Bosnia can continue to count on Hungary’s support 

Serbs in Bosnia can continue to count on Hungary’s support 

The Serbs of Bosnia can continue to count on Hungary’s support, the two nations are reliant on one another, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stated in Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina on Friday after he received the decoration Order of Republika Srpska on a necklace from Milorad Dodik, President of the Bosnian entity inhabited in majority by Serbs.

He added that the European Union lacked the recognition that Europe needed the Serbs; without the Serbs, there is no European security, there is no stability, there is no healthy European Union.

He stressed that he was honoured by the decoration which was also an expression of friendship, trust and mutual optimism regarding the future. 

Mr Orbán said he regards the international stance adopted vis-à-vis the Serbian people as unfair and unjust, and therefore in international politics he has always stood with them. 

He said “there are many problems” with the European Union, “I myself keep fighting there day in, day out,” but today there is no better international framework within which nations can gain in strength than the EU. He added that he will do everything he can in order for the Serbian people to find themselves as close as possible to the best international framework currently available. 

The Prime Minister said it is important that from July Hungary will hold the rotating EU presidency. In the spirit of this, a separate team has been dedicated to dealing with Bosnia, he underlined. 

He said the decision that Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Serbia become a member of the EU should have been adopted a long time ago; “we have wasted decades.” 

He stressed that the “nightmare of an easterly enlargement” has rendered the Western Balkans enlargement a lesser priority. He highlighted that the Hungarian position is that first this enlargement must be completed, and only then will it be possible for us to concern ourselves with the more difficult and more complex easterly direction.

Mr Orbán also took issue with the fact that attempts are being made to interfere with the affairs of Bosnia from abroad. He said with this the process could lose momentum, a political crisis could develop, and this “depreciates Europe’s efforts.” If there is interference from abroad, that is bad for everyone; equally for Europe, the Serbian people and Bosnia, he said. 

The Prime Minister stressed that Hungary saw the Western Balkans – including the Serbian entity of Bosnia – as an area facing a great future where opportunities could open up for important investments. 

The Prime Minister also praised bilateral economic cooperation. He made mention of the agricultural grant programme that is already under way and bilateral financial cooperation. He recalled that on Friday the two parties would also hold a business forum in Banja Luka.

Mr Orbán confirmed that the section concerned of the Hungarian network of express motorways up to the Croatian border will be completed “within seconds.” 

In his laudation, Milorad Dodik highlighted that the decoration conferred upon Mr Orbán on the occasion of the Day of the Republika Srpska had been granted in recognition of his contribution to the advancement of bilateral relations. He spoke about the friendship between the two parties, thanked the Hungarian Prime Minister for his continued support, and stressed that he was certain that together they would be able to achieve even better results.

He said they would like to strengthen cooperation also at the level of the people and to extend it to further areas such as cooperation at the level of universities as well as in the areas of sports and tourism.

The president of the Serbs of Bosnia highlighted that the Hungarian state was a model regarding the way to approach the institution of the family and how to preserve a conventional society.

He stressed that Europe needed strong leaders, and Mr Orbán was such a leader. He also thanked the Hungarian Prime Minister for the fact that he stood for a fairer world. 

On Thursday, Mr Orbán had talks with Bosnian Prime Minister Borjana Kristo and met with the leaders of the state federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Bosnian Denis Becirovic, the Serbian Zeljka Cvijanovic and the Croatian Zeljko Komsic. The main topics of their meeting included Hungarian-Bosnian bilateral relations and topical European affairs. Borjana Kristo thanked Mr Orbán for the fact that Hungary firmly supports Sarajevo’s EU integration without any reservations, and asked him to continue to further the good economic cooperation between the two countries. 


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