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Szijjártó discusses partnership with Serbia

Int’l Relations

Péter Szijjártó, state secretary for foreign affairs and trade of Hungary, met with Snezana Bogosavljevic-Boskovic, the co-chair of the Hungarian-Serbian joint economic committee, in Szeged to discuss on energy security issues today, preceding the Serbian-Hungarian summit in Belgrade starting tomorrow.

Szijjártó said that both Hungary and Serbia are improving their strategic partnership in order to strengthen energy security in the area. He noted that the Ukrainian crisis has raised the need for the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline, so that Hungary can diversify its energy supply. The possibility to connect the Hungarian-Serbian electricity network also emerged during the talks, Szijjártó added.

The sides bilaterally agreed to speed up the renovation process of the rail line connecting Budapest and Belgrade, to cut travel time between the capitals from seven or eight hours to 3 hours, and to make the route ready for the arrival of the Western Europe-bound freight arriving from China via Greece.

Bogosavljevic-Boskovic said the two countries had a number of joint interests and plans in the areas of farming, food, water management and environmental protection, and that these would be discussed at the next meeting of the Serbian-Hungarian Joint Economic Committee this November.

Bilateral trade between Hungary and Serbia exceeded €1.6 bln last year, Szijjártó said. Hungarian companies operate about 400 joint ventures with local partners in Serbia. Hungary is the fifth-biggest investor in the country.

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