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Hungary Appeals to Austria to Allow Bulgaria, Romania Into Schengen Area

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Sijjarto appealed Friday to Austria to abandon opposition to Bulgaria and Romania joining the Schengen area.

Following a visit to the western Romanian city of Timisoara, Sijjarto said at a news conference with Romanian Deputy Prime Minister and Transport Minister Sorin Grindeanu that it was “of strategic interest” for Hungary to be able to cooperate as closely as possible with Romania.

It was “shameful” that the border control-free Schengen area had not long ago been extended to include Romania and Bulgaria, Szijjarto.

The “Austrian friends” were requested and even urged to refrain from their veto “this fall” and vote in favor of Romania’s and Bulgaria’s accession to the Schengen area, he said.

An accession of Bulgaria and Romania would also be in Hungary’s express interest, according to Szijjarto.

Earlier, Sijjarto and Grindeanu signed an agreement on the opening of two more border crossing points between Romania and Hungary, which will bring their total number to 14.

Austria, together with the Netherlands, had vetoed the expansion of the Schengen area to include Bulgaria and Romania last December. Vienna justified its rejection with the fear of increasing illegal migration.

Source : AA

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