World Bulletin / News Desk
Hungary called on the European Union to speed up accession talks with the western Balkans on Tuesday, so as to "protect" the bloc from a future influx of refugees.
Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto warned of unspecified security risks if Brussels allows negotiations with the Balkan nations to drag on too long.
Budapest filed a legal challenge with the European Court of Justice late last year against the mandatory resettlement quotas, while authorities also erected a fence and brought in tough new laws punishing illegal entry.
"The countries of the western Balkans should be strong enough to protect the EU against another wave of migration," Szijjarto told reporters after a Warsaw meeting with his central European counterparts and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.
Before it was shut down in March, the so-called Balkan route was taken by hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Middle East, Asia and Africa on their way to western Europe.
"The quickest route to strengthening these countries is to offer them accession to the EU," Szijjarto added.
He said the Visegrad Four group of countries -- the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia -- will work to accelerate the negotiations.
The six Balkan nations wishing to join the EU are Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.
However, the bloc has ruled out any further enlargement before 2020, and even that date looks unrealistic.
"We should be enlarging in the upcoming five years. What's more, we should be enlarging the EU immediately," protested Szijjarto.
"If the enlargement process is still going to be so slow as it was up until now, this may lead to serious risks both in the security and in the economic dimension."
Mogherini for her part told reporters that the EU and the western Balkans had already made "impressive progress".
Many in the western Balkans -- a region of widespread poverty and turbulence that is home to around 20 million people -- see the 28-nation bloc as a beacon of stability and prosperity.
Membership negotiations have already started with Serbia and Montenegro, but are yet to get underway for Albania and Macedonia. Bosnia and Kosovo have been promised the prospect of membership when they are ready.
Major unions call on their members to disrupt oil transfer after labor reforms were signed last week
There has been a decade-long split between Gaza and the occupied West Bank since 2007
Only 14 lawmakers with Turkish background elected to 709-seat Bundestag, where far-right became third-largest group
Voters in KRG-held areas vote in a controversial referendum on whether to secede from Iraq
Chief imam in the commercial hub of Lago since 2000, Sheikh Garba Akinola-Ibrahim died after a protracted illness
On eve of vote, Haider al-Abadi says Baghdad will not recognize results of controversial Kurdish region referendum
One day before Kurdish region’s independence referendum, KRG's Masoud Barzani reiterates that polls will not be postponed
Conservatives projected to win 33 pct of votes, far-right AfD wins 13.3 pct, set to enter parliament as 3rd-largest party
When the ceasefire was announced in September, President Juan Manuel Santos, also gave the later date. After that, Santos said, it would be extended in line with progress in peace negotiations.
A resident raised the alarm at around 10:30 pm and the bomb squad was on site in the suburb of Lambersart as a precaution.
In the end, her conservatives may be forced into torturous coalition haggling, possibly with their biggest campaign rivals, to stay in power and secure Merkel a fourth term.
Transport for London said the conduct of Uber, which has around 40,000 drivers and 3.5 million customers in the British capital, had raised safety concerns.
Police were called late Saturday to the Stratford Centre near London's Olympic Stadium after a noxious substance was sprayed during an argument between two groups of males.
The protest began on Friday and swelled over the weekend after fruitless negotiations between activists, city authorities and new artistic director Chris Dercon, the former head of London's Tate Modern.
The Times quoted a "Brussels source" in their story on Saturday, but Davis told BBC television that "they sort of made that up."
Iraq’s central government has threatened to intervene militarily if the vote leads to violence