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Hungary's president apologizes to Serbia for WW2 crimes

Int’l Relations

Hungarian President János Áder on Wednesday apologized in Belgrade for crimes Hungarians committed against Serbs during World War II and asked for forgiveness for those crimes, underscoring that mutual forgiveness and apologies can strengthen trust between Serbs and Hungarians.

"As president of Hungary, I ask for your forgiveness for the crimes which were committed in the name of Hungary by Hungarians against innocent Serbs during World War II," Áder said speaking to lawmakers at a session of the Serbian parliament.
    Áder who is on an official visit to Serbia, pointed out that a free, democratic Hungary condemns those who acted against innocent Serbs and heightened their suffering.
    The Hungarian president recalled a statement by Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic during his recent visit to Budapest when he said that the two countries had turned a new page in their relations and left any misunderstandings behind them and that the time had come for mutual apologies as that was vital  to remove the burdens of the past for future generations.
    Áder said that the crimes committed could not be wiped away but mutual forgiveness and a mutual apology could strengthen trust between Serbia and Hungary who do not wish merely to live side by side but jointly in the community of nations in central Europe.
    The Hungarian President at the same time assessed that the Declaration condemning acts against the civilian Hungarian population in the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina during 1944 and 1945 that the Serbian parliament adopted last week, represented an important historical step which after seven decades had not only put an end to a chapter of their shared history but has also created a new chance to develop relations between the two nations and two countries.
    Hungary's president who is currently on a return visit to Serbia told his hosts that on the path to the European Union, Serbia could count on Hungary as a friend and partner ready to share its European experiences, Hina news agency reported.

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