Europe has not faced this many security threats since the Second World War: the continent is facing grave challenges from both the south and east, Péter Szijjártó with respect to Friday’s informal meeting of EU Foreign Affairs and Defense Ministers in Amsterdam.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade told Hungarian news agency MTI that the make-up of the new European security strategy had been at the center of Friday’s meeting, with regard to which he explained that taking into account the country’s economic and security interests, the Hungarian Government thinks it is important that, amongst other, primary targets should include the stabilization of the Western Balkan region and the EU’s eastern neighborhood.

With reference to the former region, the Minister stressed that Hungary is urging for the significant speeding up of the European Union integration process for the Western Balkan countries.

Accelerating Serbian and Montenegrin EU accession talks and the commencement of negotiations with Montenegro is especially important, he pointed out.

With regard to the EU’s eastern neighbors, Mr. Szijjártó told the press that Hungary is proposing the immediate lifting of EU sanctions against Belarus, as well as awarding visa exempt status to Georgia. “This will make it clear to both countries that there is no competitive alternative to European cooperation”, the Minister declared.

During the meeting in Holland, the Hungarian Foreign Minister also proposed that negotiations between the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union should commence as soon as the required conditions are present.

According to Mr. Szijjártó, this could serve to balance the economic damage caused by EU sanctions imposed against Russia because of the crisis in Ukraine.

In closing, Mr. Szijjártó informed the press that on Friday evening he wold be holding bilateral talks with Serbian Minister of Foreign Affair Ivica Dacic within the framework of the informal meeting of Ministers in Amsterdam.

{Source: Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister Of Hungary – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and trade}

[photo credits-featured image: Andrew Shiva / Wikipedia, via Wikimedia Commons]