Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó (R) and his North Macedonian counterpart, Bujar Osmani
Hungary supports the strengthening of the role of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in peace-building, which is the last channel for East-West dialogue, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in Budapest on Thursday. He had a meeting with Bujar Osmani, Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, holding the rotating presidency of the OSCE.
At a joint press conference, Péter Szijjártó touched on the Ukrainian war, stressing that maintaining dialogue between the parties is the only way to peace in Ukraine. “Every day that passes with war brings more deaths and more destruction. The propaganda that better conditions for a peace agreement can be negotiated on the battlefield is false. The conditions for peace are much better today than they will be tomorrow, and they are much worse today than they were yesterday,” he pointed out.
The government, therefore, strongly supports the current North Macedonian Presidency in ensuring that the OSCE continues to serve as a channel of communication between East and West, Russia, and the western half of Europe.
Szijjártó also called for the launch of genuine EU accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. He stressed that Europe is facing extraordinary economic and security challenges, which is why the stability and peace of the Western Balkans have never been more important.
He said that
today the EU has a much greater interest in enlargement than the Western Balkans than vice versa, adding that the Community has unfortunately become a weakening bloc.
“The only way to reverse this is for the European Union to grow, because if it grows bigger, it will also grow stronger, and enlargement is the only way to do that,” he emphasized.
He stressed that the reason for the failure of enlargement so far is that neither Brussels nor some Member States are honest about it: they support the process in public, but are more skeptical behind closed doors. “That is why it is unacceptable to us that the President of the European Council wants to postpone the date for the admission of new members until 2030,” he pointed out.
The minister asked what the EU wants to do in those seven years until 2030.
If NATO, a defense alliance, could take on three Western Balkan countries, I think the European Union should be able to do the same.”
“At every foreign affairs council meeting, I listen to the lamentations of others about how the Russians and the Turks and I do not know who are making space for themselves in the Western Balkans. It would be easy to confront this. For example, by admitting them to the European Union,” he concluded.
Via MTI, Featured photo via Facebook/Péter Szijjártó