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President Novák Visits Hungarian Soldiers Serving in Kosovo

Hungarian President Katalin Novák paid a visit to Kosovo on Tuesday, and praised the courage of Hungarian soldiers serving in the KFOR mission.

“Hungary is playing a mediating role between the Western Balkans and the European Union,” Hungarian President Katalin Novák said at a joint press conference with her Kosovo counterpart Vjosa Osmani in Pristina on Tuesday.

“Peace and security in the Western Balkans are necessary for peace and stability in Europe. The KFOR and a future EU-membership for the Western Balkans countries will contribute to this,” she stressed.

Katalin Novák said that “Hungary is firmly committed to supporting the integration of the Western Balkans countries into the European Union, including Kosovo”. “Now that Ukraine and Moldova have been granted candidate status, this is both an opportunity and a threat,” she said. “It is an opportunity, as it can speed up accession for those who meet the requirements, but it is also a threat, as it can prevent those who are granted candidate status for political reasons from meeting the criteria later,” Katalin Novák explained.

The President, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Hungarian Defense Forces, also visited the 500 Hungarian soldiers serving in the KFOR mission in Kosovo on Tuesday.

In Camp Novo Selo, Katalin Novák said that she expressed the gratitude of Hungarians who are proud of the bravery of Hungarian soldiers.

Katalin Novák recalled that there is a war in Ukraine, which all European countries would have liked to avoid. “Hungary is on the side of peace”, she stressed, adding that the destabilization of the Western Balkans could also affect Europe.

The President said that it is not only fighting wars that is difficult, but also building and maintaining peace. She paid tribute to the strength of the soldiers needed to defend their homeland and peace.

Speaking to the soldiers as a wife and mother, Katalin Novák said she understood how difficult it can be to be away from family, and thanked the families for the sacrifice it requires.

Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia in 2008 and as of today, it has been recognized as a sovereign state by 97 member states of the United Nations (including the United States and Hungary), but has not been recognized by Serbia, Russia, China and several other countries. The sovereignty debate has been sparked even in this summer in connection with the issue of licence plates for Serbians living in Kosovo. In the event of an escalation the KFOR mission and the Hungarian soldiers would find themselves in the middle of a conflict zone.

Related article

Western Balkans Security a Priority for Hungary

Western Balkans Security a Priority for Hungary

Featured photo via Facebook/Novák Katalin

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