Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó addressed a rally in Belgrade in support of President Aleksandar Vučić on Friday, held under the name Serbia of Hope.
The mass event, held outside the National Assembly, was overshadowed by President Vučić ordering the highest level combat alert in the early afternoon after Kosovo security forces surrounded several Serbian municipal buildings.
As Remix News reported, a total of 25 peacekeeping troops from NATO’s Kosovo contingent were injured three days later on Monday when their Italian commanders deployed them to quell the conflict.
Friday night’s rally was originally planned as a response to a series of protests across Serbia, where tens of thousands of people demanded Vučić’s departure. Over the years, he has repeatedly hinted he would step down as party president, but this has not yet happened.
At the National Assembly, Vučić addressed the nation as president of the republic and not as leader of the Serbian Progressive Party. His party invited all “people of goodwill to the biggest meeting in the history of Serbia.”
At the rally, Szijjártó spoke in Serbian and claimed to represent a nation that is “brethren with the Serbians.” He highlighted that under Vučić’s leadership, Serbia is treating the Hungarian community in Vojvodina in a way that serves as an example for the whole world, and Hungarians are grateful for this.
“The international liberal mainstream is attacking Hungarians and Serbs because they stand up for their national interests — and they can do so because they have strong leaders,” Szijjártó told the crowd.
“They attack us because we stick to family values, and they attack us because we do not allow ourselves to be dictated to from the outside,” he said, claiming that in both countries there are political forces that serve foreign interests.
“Such parties serving foreign interests have to be defeated election by election, and fortunately we do this regularly in both countries.”
“We do not succumb to these attacks. We will persevere and continue to build a strong Serbia, a strong Hungary and a strong Hungarian-Serbian friendship,” Szijjártó said, concluding his speech with “Go, Aleksandar! Go, Serbia!”