Serbia backs Hungarians’ dual citizenship, says deputy PM

Belgrade, September 17 (MTI) – The Serbian government has no reservations about members of Serbia’s ethnic Hungarian minority obtaining Hungarian citizenship, Hungarian Deputy Premier Zsolt Semjen told MTI in Belgrade after talks with senior Serbian government officials on Friday.

Furthermore, Serbia gives far-reaching support for such endeavours, he said after his talks with Svetozar Ciplic, Minister of Human Rights and Minorities, and Ivica Dacic, Minister of the Interior.

    In what Semjen called an “important gesture”, Ciplic agreed to return registers to the Catholic and Protestant churches in a direct move to help ethnic Hungarians in Serbia to obtain the Hungarian citizenship.

    The registers concerned were confiscated and deposited into archives by the Serbian state in the communist era.

    Semjen said another important gesture was the Serbian police’s recruitment of young Hungarians into their ranks to serve in localities inhabited by ethnic Hungarians.

    The deputy premier met Catholic Archbishop Stanislav Hocevar who said that during Hungary’s EU presidency in the first half of 2011 the Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox churches should make coordinated efforts to protect Europe’s Christian heritage.