Hungary’s first female president, Katalin Novák, continues her foreign policy charm offensive. In the few short months since being elected president by the Hungarian parliament, Novák, 45, has visited several neighboring countries and was also received by Pope Francis.
This is in stark contrast to her predecessor, János Áder, who held the presidency for 10 years from 2012, during which time he mostly concentrated on environmental issues — he currently hosts a podcast on the same.
Most recently, Novák traveled to Bucharest in an effort to restore bilateral relations with neighboring Romania, which is also a fellow EU member and NATO ally.
In Kosovo, Novák stood up for the country’s European Union membership ambitions, saying:
“Peace and security in the Western Balkans is necessary for the peace and stability of Europe; the KFOR force contributes to this, as well as a future European Union membership for the countries of the Western Balkans.”
She announced that Hungary is determined and committed to supporting the European Union integration of the Western Balkan countries, and this includes the European integration of Kosovo.
She was accompanied by Minister of Defense Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky, on account that Hungary has a 500-strong KFOR peacekeeping contingent in the country.
“In Hungary, the President of the Republic is the Commander-in-Chief of the Hungarian Armed Forces, and in this capacity, it is a tradition to visit soldiers serving abroad,” Novák said.