Orban: Hungary Wants to Strengthen Relations with Republika Srpska

Viktor Orban told a news conference on Tuesday after talks in Budapest with the chairman of the Bosnian presidency, Milorad Dodik, that he wants to boost ties with the Serb-dominated entity Republika Srpska, where Dodik has been the most powerful politician for many years.

The talks covered relations between Hungary and Bosnia and Herzegovina and with Republika Srpska, Orban said.

"The intensity of these relationships [with Republika Srpska] is not what it might be. We intend to strengthen relations between Budapest and Banja Luka [the administrative centre of Republika Srpska]," he said.

"The policy of Hungary is very clear, and that is support for the sovereignty of Bosnia but also an interest in developing relations with all segments within Bosnia," Dodik said

He added that he informed Orban about the problems that Bosnia has encountered because it was unable to form a government for eight months after last October's general election.

Dodik, who called Orban one of the most important figure in European politics at the moment, invited the Hungarian prime minister to visit Bosnia and Republika Srpska.

Dodik's visit to Budapest was a well-concealed secret for the Hungarian media.

The international press department of the prime minister's office appeared to be unaware of the press conference, which was held for the Bosnian media. No invitations to the Hungarian or international media were sent out.

Although this was the first meeting between Dodik and Orban, the two politicians are linked through their connections with far-right political parties from Austria and Italy, the Austrian Freedom Party, FPO, and the Italian Northern League.

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