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Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó on Tuesday met Roberto Antonione, newly elected Secretary-General of the Central European Initiative (CEI), to discuss regional economic cooperation and migration, the foreign ministry said. Hungary is increasing its contribution to the CEI development fund so that Hungarian companies could have a bigger share in development projects in countries of the Western Balkans, the Hungarian foreign minister said at the meeting in his offices in Budapest. Szijjártó noted the “sensible” migration policy of member states participating in the initiative, eight of which have rejected the UN’s migration compact. Central European countries consider the security of their own citizens as a priority, he said.

The CEI is the region’s biggest non-institutionalised framework for interstate relations. Italy is at the helm of the organisation this year. Its members are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Belarus, Croatia, Poland, Macedonia, Hungary, Moldova, Montenegro, Italy, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine. The group’s main aim is to promote regional cooperation, European integration and the accession of its non-EU member states to the European Union.