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Serbia and Hungary’s relations are based on understanding and care, President Katalin Novák said at the inauguration of the building of the University of Novi Sad’s Hungarian-language teacher training faculty in Subotica (Szabadka), in northern Serbia. In her speech at the inauguration, Novák emphasised that the ethnic Hungarian community of Serbia’s Vojvodina region and the Serbian leadership were working hard to keep the friendship between the two countries “as close as it is”. The president said children in Vojvodina needed to be given not just knowledge, but also a love of their mother tongue, an identity, faith and patriotism. Novák also touched on the migration pressure faced by Serbia and the rest of Europe, saying that Prime Minister Ana Brnabic had assured her that Serbia “understands this problem” and was working on a solution that would help the local Hungarian community. She reiterated Hungary’s support for Serbia’s accession to the European Union, saying that “we need Serbia and it is in our interest that the ethnic Hungarian community in Vojvodina be given European Union citizenship as soon as possible”.
István Pásztor, head of the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians (VMSZ), called Novák’s visit to Belgrade “a new important milestone” in the two countries’ relationship which also benefited Vojvodina Hungarians. He said the teacher training faculty building would not have become a reality without the Hungarian government’s contribution of over 1 billion forints (EUR 2.5m) to the project.