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Hungarian, Serbian cabinets hold joint meeting in Budapest

In a statement issued after a joint meeting of the Hungarian and Serbian cabinets, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said Hungary, along with the other Visegrád Group countries - the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia - is pressing for Serbiaʼs accession to the European Union as soon as possible.

Orbán speaks Friday alongside Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić (photo: Károly Árvai/ kormany.hu).

Orbán expressed thanks to Serbia for helping to stop migration at Hungary’s southern borders, according to official government website kormany.hu. He reiterated that, if needed, Serbia can count on technical assistance or personnel from Hungary to help protect its own southern borders.

Orbán said that the countries of the Visegrád Group are calling for Serbia to be granted EU membership as soon as possible.

“The proof of progress in Serbia is obvious and clearly visible,” he said, adding that the EU should see Belgrade as “a resource and an opportunity.”

The prime minister noted that trade volume between the two countries rose some 30% last year and mentioned plans to open new border crossings, as well as upgrade the rail line between Budapest and Belgrade.

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić expressed her countryʼs thanks for Hungaryʼs support for its integration with Europe, helping Serbia both professionally as well as defending the countryʼs interests in Brussels.

Among important economic matters, Brnabić mentioned establishing new sources of gas delivery, connecting the two countriesʼ electricity grids, cooperation in the farm sector, and an exchange of experiences on privatizing spas.

The prime minister thanked Serbia for supporting the autonomy of ethnic Hungarians in Vojvodina, describing “everything happening in Serbia in relation to minorities” as exemplary.

Orbán noted that this was the fourth joint meeting of the two countries’ cabinets.