It is time for eastern and western Europe to “put aside political correctness and hypocrisy” and work together in countering the threat of terrorism for the sake of protecting the continent, Hungary’s foreign minister said.
Europe is facing the biggest terrorist threat of all time as a result of many mistakes made in European politics, Péter Szijjártó told news agency MTI on the sidelines of an informal meeting of OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) foreign ministers in Mauerbach, near Vienna. “The gravest of these is that 1.5 million people have arrived on the continent unchecked and unidentified as a result of a hypocritical and flawed migration policy,” Szijjártó said.
With the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group losing ground against the international coalition fighting it, terrorists will start to employ new tactics such as the recruitment of lone wolf terrorists, the activation of sleeper cells or the use of chemical and biological weapons, making the threat of terrorism in Europe worse, Szijjártó added. He said that of the 11,000 foreign fighters fighting for IS, 2,500 are EU citizens. “With IS losing ground it is realistic that these people will return to Europe, which will mean a new kind of threat” for the continent, Szijjártó said. Europe must therefore do everything it can to protect itself, he added.
On the sidelines of an informal meeting of OSCE foreign ministers in Mauerbach, Szijjártó held bilateral talks with his Bosnian and Kyrgyz counterpart. In his talks with Igor Crnadak, foreign minister of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Szijjártó voiced support for that country’s European and NATO integration. He said BosniaHerzegovina played a crucial role in maintaining stability in the Western Balkans, an important aspect in terms of Hungary’s national security.
“Since Bosnia is one of the most important supporters of NATO operations outside NATO members, they deserve promotion in the process of their NATO integration,” Szijjártó said. Szijjártó also met his Kyrgyz counterpart Erlan Abdildajev and signed a cooperation agreement to set up a mixed economic committee for the two countries. Hungary’s Eximbank has set up a pool of 34 million euros to provide loans to Hungarian businesses active on the Kyrgyz market, he said after the talks.
via hungarymatters.hu and MTI
featured photo: Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz welcomes his Hungarian counterpart Péter Szijjártó in Mauerbach (photo: kormany.hu)