Orban, vucic.jpg
Photograph: HINA / Dragan KUJUNDŽIĆ / TANJUG / mm

Hungary will not accept anyone for any reason to block Serbia's accession to the European Union (EU), Hungarian Prime Minister Vikto Orban said on Monday at a meeting in Belgrade with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic, adding that the "only benchmark" in that process is the obligations that a country has as part of its European integration process.

Serbia and Hungary have advanced cooperation in all fields and will cooperate in resolving the migrant crisis and cooperation will be further strengthened by a joint meeting of both governments, the two prime ministers said during a joint press conference after their meeting behind closed doors.

During his official visit to Belgrade, Orban underscored that Hungary will not accept that anyone for whatever reason blocks Serbia's access to the EU and that the only benchmark should be obligations that a country has during its European integration process.

This and not integration itself nor whether this is to someone's liking or not, should be a deciding factor, Orban said, adding that Hungary will stand firm in its attitude because it too had gone through similar phases on its path to the EU.

He added that he could not exclude the possibility of the migrant crisis escalating again and that "European countries have to be prepared," underscoring however that Hungary "will not do anything that might jeopardise Serbia" as a sovereign country.

"It is in our interest that no-one enters Serbia illegally...it is not in Serbia's interest either for 10,000 people to be stranded in the country," Orban said, adding that the migrant crisis was one of the main points of his talks with Vucic.

Vucic underlined that Orban had stressed that he was not an optimist about the global situation, including the migrant crisis.

"We have to prepare ourselves for this autumn and winter...we are prepared to work on a strategy for what awaits us in the future," Vucic said.

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