Hungary wants faster EU, Nato integration of West Balkans

EPA/DOMENIC AQUILINA

Hungary's Minister of Foreign Affairs Peter Szijjarto at the Informal Meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers (Gymnich) at the Grandmaster's Palace in Valletta, Malta, 28 April 2017.

Hungary wants faster EU, Nato integration of West Balkans


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Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has called on the European Union to speed up integration of the Western Balkans and for Nato to include those countries.

“Speeding up the accession process is a guarantee of security,” Szijjarto said at a news conference also attended by a dozen officials from Central European and Western Balkan countries.

“An unstable and tension-riddled Western Balkans is a serious risk to all of Europe,” he added.

As reported by the Reuters news agency, Szijjarto said the EU should launch accession talks with Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) no later than the first quarter of 2018.

The EU should also offer Bosnia and Kosovo “realistic and attainable integration goals and timetables” and at Nato’s December meeting of foreign ministers the military organisation should make a decision to start FYROM’s membership talks and activate a membership action plan for Bosnia.

“If a new wave of migration were to come, only a stable and strong West Balkans can stop that,” Szijjarto said. “At the moment, the EU has no strategy regarding the West Balkans.”

According to Reuters, other foreign ministers and diplomatic leaders echoed that sentiment.

“Our nation is geographically surrounded by EU member states but we have been on the periphery of the political attention of the EU,” said FYROM Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov.

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