Hungarian FM takes part in Serbian ruling party's campaign
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto late on Tuesday took part in a campaign convention of the ruling Serbian SNS party held in Pancevo, near Belgrade.Source: Tanjug
"If I were a Hungarian living in Serbia, I would vote for the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians, and if I were a Serb, then it would be the Serb Progressive Party (SNS)," he said during his address, "speaking in Serbian and Hungarian," Tanjug is reporting.
Szijjarto said he had come as a friend of the Serbian prime minister and that "today, a Hungarian minister addressing a meeting of a Serbian party could mean only one thing - support."
"It wasn't always so. But thanks to the government of Aleksandar Vucic, relations between Serbia and Hungary are now at their highest level in history," said the Hungarian minister.
I came to tell you that Hungary highly appreciates all efforts made by Serbia. Our two countries have "recently arrived at a historic trust," Szijjarto said, stressing that the two countries had shown a good example to the entire Europe.
"We have created such a mutual friendship that each and every Serb and Hungarian had every right to be proud of," said Szijjarto.
He added that it was in his country's interest for Serbia to be "a strong and respected country," and that this was also in the interest of ethnic Hungarians who live in this country, "who are the strongest link between Serbia and Hungary."
"There are few senior officials from other countries that would come to a convention like this to speak so well of somebody's government," said SNS leader Aleksandar Vucic, thanking Szijjarto for his visit and support.
"Nothing happened to him"
The prime minister and SNS leader on Wednesday spoke about an incident that occurred during the gathering in Pancevo, when a man shouted, "President, your people are hungry," during his speech.
Asked by a reporter with the N1 broadcaster "what happened to the man" and "whether the security 'escorted' him out," Vucic said he was "certain nothing happened to him - perhaps they shielded him, but had anyone laid a finger on him, that would have been breaking news on your television."
Had the person in question come to any harm, he added, N1 would have "printed posters, as a television, to explain to the people what kind of villain I am and what I'm doing."
When the reporter remarked that this comment meant he was "labeling journalists," Vucic denied it, and said he "apologized if the reporter was under the impression that he did that."
Vucic said there were many "hungry and poor" citizens in Serbia and that this will continue to be the case in the coming years, but that he "hoped they will be fewer and fewer," adding: "We will fight that there are none for ten more years - but we'll be on a better path each day and show that the country can do much better."
The prime minister said he was "aware that people live badly" but that he was making an effort to attract new investments and create jobs.