Hungary's FM: We oppose sanctioning BiH officials and support rights of Croats

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Source: Dodik i Szijjarto u Mostaru (N1)

Hungary opposes the policy of introducing sanctions for officials in Bosnia and Herzegovina and urges EU politicians to get a better understanding of the situation in the country, Hungary’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Peter Szijjarto, said during his visit to BiH on Tuesday.

Szijjarto arrived in the city of Mostar, where he will open the International Economy Fair Mostar.

He emphasised that his country pursues a responsible good neighbourly policy.

“Peace and stability in the Western Balkans are in our interest. We know for sure that economic conditions are needed for that. Therefore, we have decided to undertake a serious program of economic development in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also in the Republika Srpska,” he said, referring to Bosnia’s Serb-majority entity.

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He said such a programme will be implemented on the basis of talks with the Bosnian Serb member of BiH’s tripartite Presidency and leader of the ruling party in the Republika Srpska (RS) entity, Milorad Dodik.

Szijjarto said 30 million euros would be provided in the first round of the programme.

The government of Hungary’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, has repeatedly expressed opposition to calls for EU sanctions against Dodik over his initiative to withdraw the RS from BiH state institutions.

“I want to clarify that sanctions should not be imposed in the Western Balkans in order to have peace and stability,” Szijjarto said, adding the EU politicians should not talk about Dodik but talk to him in order to understand the situation in BiH much better.

He also said that Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina can always count on Hungary's support, adding that Budapest considers Dragan Covic, the leader of the Croat Democratic Union in Bosnia (HDZ BiH) a friend.

“It is clear to us that for peace and stability, all constituent peoples need to find their place in BiH. For our part, we support the Croat national community in exercising all the rights guaranteed by international agreements “, said Szijjarto.

Covic thanked Hungary, which is this year's partner of the Mostar Fair.

“I congratulate you on the results of Sunday's elections. I want to thank the Prime Minister of Hungary and my friend Viktor Orban for the partnership “, said Covic.

Dodik also congratulated Szijjarto and Orban on winning the elections in Hungary, adding that the country has been very important for the Republika Srpska entity.

“Today, we confirmed that we will implement all the previous agreements, but that we will also work on the implementation of new ones. I am grateful to Hungary for what they are doing for peace in the Balkans and understanding the situation,” Dodik said.