Hungary is the best friend of countries in the Western Balkans, President Katalin Novák said on Monday, at an international press conference held after meeting Željka Cvijanović, the chairwoman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Budapest. Novák welcomed that Bosnia and Herzegovina was granted an EU candidate status in December last year. “This process must not slow down, or stop,” she said. The Hungarian president called the Western Balkans a highly important region which could be key in the future of Europe. “Western Balkan countries can count on us, they should be part of Europe, not only from the point of view of their history and set of values, but in terms of their ideology and geographic location and from a legal and economic aspect,” she said. Novák noted that they discussed the Ukraine-Russia war, illegal migration, economic cooperation and the demographic crisis. Cvijanović said Hungary served as a bridge for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Western Balkan region in building ties with the European Union. She thanked Hungary for “showing an understanding towards the Western Balkans that is rather uncommon in the EU”. Cvijanović said she highly appreciated the good relations Hungary had built with Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Western Balkan region and called important Hungary’s commitment to building economic cooperation with the region.