Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó met counterparts from several countries as well as deputy secretary-generals of the United Nations in New York on Friday.
Supporting the European integration of the Western Balkans is a key objective of Hungary’s foreign policy, Szijjártó said after talks with Nikola Selakovic, the foreign minister of Serbia, and Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu, the president of Kosovo.
Serbia is a key country for the region, the European integration of which is “clearly in Europe’s interest”, Szijjártó said, and insisted that “the community could not in fact be strengthened without Serbia joining”. He warned that further delays in the integration process could undermine the European Union’s credibility in the Western Balkans, and added that “unless the EU takes steps, others will take over its role in the region”.
After talks with the foreign minister of Qatar, Szijjártó said that Hungary had in recent years built “useful” cooperation, based on mutual respect, with Gulf countries.
Szijjártó met Uladzimir Makej, the foreign minister of Belarus, and said that ties between the latter country and the EU had worsened. He said, however, that dialogue should be maintained and the EU’s Eastern Partnership programme continued.
Szijjártó and Evarist Bartolo, his Maltese counterpart, agreed that cooperation with the new government of Lebanon was crucial for tackling the migration pressure from the south.
The Hungarian foreign minister also met deputies of the secretary-general of the UN, and said that the UN should take a leading role in tackling an increasing threat of terrorism in the wake of the failure of international forces in Afghanistan. Those efforts require further funds and the Hungarian government urges that financing anti-terrorism activities should be made a permanent item in the UN budget.
Featured photo via Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI