“Hungary will be increasing the number of its military personnel in the KFOR, the Kosovo international peacekeeping force operating under NATO command”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in a statement to Hungarian news agency MTI on Thursday from Kosovo.

“In addition, Hungary plans to put forward a candidate for the position of commander that will be vacated next year”, Mr. Szijjártó said. There are currently some 400 Hungarian soldiers serving within the KFOR.

The Minister also told the press that in addition to the above, he also held negotiations in the Kosovan capital with several members of the government and the head of state with relation to economic and European integration issues.

The Hungarian Government is supporting Kosovo’s European integration and the closing of the visa liberalisation process, “in view of the fact that Kosovo has conformed to every single one of the conditions prescribed by the European Union”, Mr. Szijjártó said.

A chief advisor from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been delegated to aid the Kosovan Minister for European Integration, and is assisting Kosovo’s accession efforts, he highlighted. The Minister also told the Kosovan politicians that Hungary supports the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, and expressed his hope that the two countries will in future successfully conclude an agreement that will increase the stability of the Western Balkan region.

Mr. Szijjártó pointed out that the first Hungarian contract realised within the framework of Hungary’s 62-million-euro tied aid programme was signed on Thursday, and that according to the agreement Hungary’s state road toll payment service provider will be developing the Kosovan road safety system within the framework of a 6-million-euro development project.

In addition, the two parties have come to a clear agreement on the text of their proposed investment protection agreement, and have sent the draft to the European Union for authorisation. An agreement was also reached on the fact that Hungarian company HungaroControl will continue to perform air traffic control duties in Kosovan airspace in future.