Foreign Affairs

EU Summit In Malta: Hungarian Premier Surprised By “Neurotic” EU Reactions To Trump Policies

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Malta on Friday that he was surprised by the “neurotic European reactions” to the US entry ban on citizens of seven Islamic countries.

Valletta, 2017. február 3. A Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda által közreadott képen Orbán Viktor magyar (b3) és Beata Szydlo lengyel (b2) kormányfõ az Európai Unió máltai nem hivatalos csúcsértekezletén Vallettában 2017. február 3-án. MTI Fotó: Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda / Szecsõdi Balázs
EU heads of states and governments gather in Malta to discuss the migrant crisis (photo: Balázs Szecsődi – kormany.hu)

Speaking ahead of an informal European Union summit meeting in Malta, Orbán said that the US was an independent country and as such it had the sovereign right to define “its own border, foreign and migration policies”. “What we think about that does not matter; it is not a European business. We must focus on ourselves, tackle our own problems rather than pass judgement over the United States,” Orbán insisted. The one-day Malta summit has the migration crisis and global political changes on its agenda.

On another subject, Orbán said that he wave of illegal immigrants could be stopped outside the European Union if Italy changed its position on migration. The new Italian government could join the “club of countries which think that the situation is unacceptable and migrants must be stopped outside the EU.” Orbán argued that with Italy’s cooperation migrants could be returned to Libya rather than allowed to enter Europe. He warned against “allowing migrants to enter first and then work to solve their problems” and suggested that assistance should be provided where the problems arise rather than “allowing the problems into our territory”.

Meanwhile the refugees crisis in the Mediterranean is developing into a humanitarian catastrophe. According to UN spokesman William Spindler, nearly 400.000 attempted to cross the Mediterranean sea on their way to Europe last year and about 10 percent of them did not survive the dangerous journey.

via MTI and origo.hu; cover photo: Szilárd Koszticsák – MTI ; video: Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS)