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Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó on Wednesday called for EU enlargement to be speeded up, saying that the integration of Western Balkan countries would strengthen the bloc and help in the handling of current issues.

Szijjártó met his Bosnia-Herzegovina counterpart, Elmedin Konaković, in Sarajevo, and noted at a joint press conference after the talks that the war in Ukraine presented the EU with serious challenges, the foreign ministry said in a statement. The situation has shown that the EU made a mistake when dragging its feet on enlargement in the past, he said. “Should the Western Balkans be part of the bloc, the dramatic impact of the current difficult situation could be handled far more easily,” he said, adding that the accession of the Western Balkan states would also bolster the bloc against illegal migration. Szijjártó slammed member states which he said “support enlargement rhetorically but continue to block the process otherwise.” He called on “anti-enlargement countries” to stop blocking the process “as this harms the EU and is a national security risk for Hungary”, he said.
Stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina is a priority for Hungary, he said, calling on the EU to “take meaningful steps” to facilitate its integration.