Hungarian president apologizes for crimes

BELGRADE -- Hungarian President Janos Ader has stated that his country Hungary condemns all its citizens who committed war crimes against innocent Serbs in WW2.

Janos Ader at the Serbian parliament on Wednesday (Tanjug)
Janos Ader at the Serbian parliament on Wednesday (Tanjug)

Addressing a special session of the Serbian parliament in Belgrade on Wednesday, he asked forgiveness for the crimes.

The crimes in question were committed by fascist Hungarian forces who occupied northern Serbia during the Second World War.

Free, democratic Hungary condemns those who acted against innocent Serbs, multiplying their suffering, Ader said addressing Serbian MPs.

"The crimes cannot be annulled, but mutual forgiveness and apology can strengthen trust between Serbia and Hungary, which do not want just to live side by side but also in the community of peoples of central Europe," he said.

Ader referred to a statement Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic gave during his visit to Budapest about how the two countries opened a new page in their mutual relations and left behind all disputes, adding it is necessary to unburden future generations of the past and that the time has come for mutual apologies.

"We, today's Hungarians and today's Serbs stand unified with the innocent victims. We do not want our children to inherit death, lies and hatred, but rather life, righteousness and cooperation," he stressed.

The Hungarian president noted that the adoption of the declaration condemning acts against Hungarian civilians in 1944 and 1945, which took place at the Serbian parliament last week, is an important historical step which, after seven decades, puts a stamp on a chapter of painful common history, but also opens a new perspective in relations between the two peoples and states.

"A moral man has the courage to say what deep down he knows is right, and you listened to your heart. You said what was painful and what seemed impossible to say for 70 years," Ader pointed out.

"You said that collective guilt is untenable. You said that individuals can be sinful, but not the entire people," he added.

The Hungarian president underlined that Serbia can count on Hungary as a friend and partner ready to share its experience when it comes to the EU path.