Hungary supports Serbia's European integration:official

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BUDAPEST, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Hungary supported Serbia's European integration, arguing it was in the interest of not only Hungary, but the whole continent, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto said here on Tuesday after a meeting with Serbian Minister for EU integration Jadranka Joksimovic.

"The acceleration of Serbia's European integration is in the interests of Hungary and Europe, and accordingly Hungary will continue to provide Serbia with all possible support," Szijjarto told in a joint press conference with Joksimovic.

"One of the key elements of the debate on the future of the European Union is enlargement, but unfortunately there is significant resistance towards enlargement within the EU today, which is a problem, because this year, for the first time in the EU's history, the number of member states will be reduced," Szijjarto declared, hinting at the imminent Brexit.

"Hungary's goal is for the EU to gain strength, and this requires new member states, countries that reinforce the EU's security and economy, and the countries of the Western Balkans are such countries," he added.

According to Szijjarto, migration pressure on the Western Balkans was going to increase, and accordingly "the European integration of the region's countries and closer border security cooperation would serve to improve European security."

He also deplored the "extremely slow pace" of enlargement: "It is unfair towards countries that are waiting to join the European Union that the EU does not want to take on new member states before 2025."

Joksimovic said: "Hungary has always supported the European integration of Serbia, and this is important in view of the fact that not all EU member states support enlargement."

"It is important that the issue of enlargement is not set aside because of the European Parliament elections and the debate on the next multi-annual financial framework," she added.

"Enlargement isn't a problem, but one of the European Union's most important policies, which can strengthen the EU", said she, adding, "It would be good if we succeeded in opening at least five negotiation chapters this year." Enditem

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