At a joint press conference held earlier today in Budapest with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stressed that Europe must be protected because America’s failure in Afghanistan could lead to a wave of millions of migrants, and if this happens by land, which he regards as the most likely scenario, it will plunge Serbia and Hungary into an extremely difficult situation.
The governments, NGOs and Soros organizations that supported migration in the past are ready again to support migration from Afghanistan, which is in sharp contrast to the interests of Hungary and Serbia, PM Orbán pointed out. He added that Hungary is also "one thousand percent" committed to Serbia's accession to the European Union, as without it, the security of Europe cannot be guaranteed.
"We are defending Serbia, we are defending Hungary, we are defending ourselves, but we all know that these migrants do not want to live in Serbia or Hungary; they are heading for Germany. And so, when we defend ourselves now, as we have done so many times in history, we are also defending Europe, and above all Germany; and this is true even if we cannot expect any recognition or gratitude," the prime minister said.
Responding to a question about the migration pressure, PM Orbán said that there are already some 4 million migrants inside Afghanistan who, should they find “a way out,” will appear in our region after passing through Turkey. According to the prime minister, this is one of the reasons why Hungary and Serbia must undertake joint efforts to set up a southern line of defense to stop immigration. The question is, the PM added, whether Germany wants to stop migrants at Europe’s borders or once again create a humanitarian corridor to let them in.
“History has taught us that whenever the internal part of the continent comes under threat, [Western European countries] never rush to our assistance; they would rather create a buffer zone in the region,” Prime Minister Orbán said. “This is what they have been doing for centuries. And I don’t see any sign that this has changed,” PM Orbán added.
Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic highlighted and praised their countries’ successful bilateral cooperation over the past seven years. The agreement on a new strategic partnership is the culmination of this joint work since 2014, she added.
According to Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó, both countries benefit significantly from their excellent political cooperation, in economic terms as well. He listed bilateral trade turnover, which will exceed EUR 3 billion by the end of the year, Hungarian Eximbank’s EUR 135 million credit line to support trade cooperation between Hungarian and Serbian companies, and the government’s financing scheme to boost Hungarian investments abroad, with 16 Hungarian firms investing in Serbia.
He also underlined that the economic development program in Vojvodina will continue, where 14,000 Hungarian SMEs have so far received support worth some HUF 60 billion, resulting in investments worth HUF 120 billion. An agreement was also reached to improve transport links between the two countries, with the launch of a Danube high-speed ferry service between Budapest and Belgrade by summer 2022. As of next summer, it will also be possible to travel "comfortably and quickly" by train between Szeged and Subotica.
Finally, the minister noted that the agreement to allow Hungarian and Serbian diplomats to visit each other's embassies in countries where the other does not have representation is a new level of trust between the two countries.