Vučić announced important news: We have signed memorandum, we will act upon it VIDEO

The second trilateral summit of Hungary, Serbia and Austria started today in Belgrade.

Source: B92
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EPA-EFE Andrej Cukic
EPA-EFE Andrej Cukic

The summit began with a meeting between Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer.

After the meeting, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić addressed the media first.

At the beginning, Vučić welcomed the guests to Serbia and emphasized that it is a great privilege to have such friends by our side.

"I welcome you, it is a great honor for Serbia and me to have such friends with us and to solve big problems. We have signed an important memorandum and we are starting the action before the end of the year. We are talking about illegal migrants whose number has doubled compared to last year, most of them arriving from Afghanistan, about 40 percent," said Vučić.

As he himself said, several steps have already been taken.

"In addition to Tunisia, we will have to have a visa-free regime with two other countries," said Vučić. Vučić specified that the number of illegal migrants increased by 121 percent and that the majority of migrants come from North Macedonia (51 percent) and Bulgaria (32 percent).

He added that a larger number of police officers will be deployed at the border. He pointed out that it was agreed that a larger number of police officers would be deployed on the border with North Macedonia.

"We want to move the defense border to the south because that's how we protect Europe and our country. We don't want to be a parking lot for migrants", Vucic said.

President of Serbia added that an agreement was reached on readmission and that these costs will be shared in a fair way in the future.

Vučić pointed out that Serbia, like other countries, does not want to be a parking lot for illegal migrants.

After Vučić, Nehammer spoke, who first thanked Vucic for the hospitality.

"We established a partnership to fight against illegal migration. This is important because the EU system has failed. Individual EU states are forced to find new partners. Much has changed from today's to the previous meeting. Thank you, President Vučić, for taking Austria's concerns seriously and for not leaving us in the lurch," Nehammer said.

The Austrian Chancellor added that Austria will send another 100 police officers and will provide drones and vehicles.

"I want to thank Serbia and Vučić for advocating for the end of asylum tourism. Vučić took Austria's concerns seriously, he did not leave Austria in the lurch, and that is really very important to me as Chancellor and to the Austrians," Nehammer pointed out.

Orbán: We are not safe

Orbán thanked Vučić and Nehammer for their cooperation.

"On one side, there is a war in Ukraine, on the other, Serbia and migrants. I have to say a few sentences about what happened yesterday. Polish citizens have died, there is a war in our neighborhood, which affects us not only economically. If the war is going on in neighboring country, you are not safe either, Polish citizens died on Polish soil. Yesterday, the supply of oil from Ukraine to Hungary was interrupted. When you and your country are in danger, you have to try to eliminate that danger - this means that we want peace and we must dedicate ourselves to peace," said Orbán, adding that we share our fate in both good and bad and that we help each other when someone needs help. "It's not a political question, it's a question of instinct, the instinct of survival. We Hungarians feel it, and I believe Serbs do, too - since we share the same destiny, we must cooperate to overcome all the challenges of our common destiny. I am grateful to President Vučić as I recognized in him Hungary's best Serbian partner," Orbán said. Prime Minister of Hungary added that since the beginning of the year, 250.000 attempts to cross the border illegally have been prevented.

He emphasized that illegal migrants and people smugglers are increasingly aggressive and use weapons against law enforcement officers.

Vučić: Serbia's entry into the EU will be a very complicated process

Vučić, when asked if the date of Serbia's accession to the EU can be determined, given that our country only fulfills the requirements, and the new ones are coming, said that Serbia is especially grateful to its Hungarian friends who fight for our country.

He also expressed his gratitude to Austria, which, as he said, has always supported the integration of Serbia into the EU, regardless of certain differences we have on other issues. "I believe that if it was up to Budapest and Vienna that we would have a much better chance of being part of the EU sooner. This way, it will not be an easy, but a very complicated process," underlined Vučić.

Orbán said that Serbia "should have been accepted yesterday because today we would have a much easier situation". "But Hungary cannot resolve this issue within the EU, but we can create a coalition that will support enlargement," he said. He pointed out that in 2024 the elections for the European Parliament will be held and that in the same year Hungary will preside over the Union. "Be assured that we will do everything to complete the process as soon as possible," Orbán said. Nehammer pointed out that Austrian support is reflected in two perspectives, the first of which is bilateral cooperation with Serbia. He recalled that Austrian companies are among the largest investors in Serbia, that there is good cooperation in the economy, full of trust, and that entrepreneurs in Serbia see an important location that is productive and profitable. Another dimension, he says, is the EU and adds that the European Commission is checking progress in the accession process. "When it comes to the Austrian side, there is clear support for Serbia's path to the EU, but also for other countries of the Western Balkans, which are in different stages of development and progress. This region, and especially Serbia, have an important security-strategic role and are important partners that should be brought closer and introduce into the EU," he emphasized.

Nehammer said that Austria will continue to do everything possible to help Serbia on that path, adding that the hand of friendship is constantly extended.

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