Prime Minister of Hungary

06/19/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/19/2019 02:39

Close relations between Budapest and Banja Luka must be developed

At a meeting in Budapest on Tuesday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Milorad Dodik, the Serbian chairman of the tripartite Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, agreed on developing close political and economic relations between Hungary and Republika Srpska.

Mr. Dodik - who before the meeting went to Szentendre to meet representatives of Serbs living in Hungary - was received by the Prime Minister in his office in the Carmelite Monastery.

In a press statement after the meeting Mr. Orbán said that Hungary must continue to support efforts by Bosnia and Herzegovina to strengthen the country's unity and to foster ever closer relations with the European Union.

He said that he and Mr. Dodik had therefore agreed that they will further strengthen high-level relations between Hungary and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The two leaders also spoke about Hungary's relations with Serbs living in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They confirmed that, in addition to its relations with Sarajevo, Budapest will also build close political and economic relations with Banja Luka: the administrative centre of Republika Srpska in Bosnia. He said that the current level of these relations is not satisfactory.

The Prime Minister stressed that Hungarian-Serbian relations can only be healthy and strong if Hungarians in Serbia and Serbs in Hungary feel at home.

Mr. Dodik said that Serbs living in Hungary had informed him that the Hungarian state has done everything it can to make their situation substantially better than it was earlier. He also stressed that there are no unresolved issues between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Hungary.

'We want to continue on the path leading to European integration,' he pointed out, thanking Hungary for supporting Bosnia and Herzegovina's integration aspirations.

The President praised the dynamic development of Hungarian-Serbian relations, which also offer Serbs in Bosnia further opportunities for cooperation.

Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of two entities with extensive autonomy: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, mostly inhabited by Bosnians and Croats; and Republika Srpska, mostly inhabited by Serbs. These two share a central government with limited powers.