The coronavirus epidemic and migration “make up a vicious circle” because “the more countries are hit by the virus the more people will set off and the more people leave their home the greater the risk of a spreading pandemic is,” Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in a meeting of his European Union counterparts in Luxembourg on Monday.
On the sidelines of the meeting, Szijjártó told the Hungarian press that the world was about to face further waves of illegal migration since “all trends recently triggering migration waves have further strengthened”.
“We have a single task: to protect our citizens from the perils of further migration waves, and we must use every tool to stop migratory trends,” he said.
The minister said that the economic impact of the pandemic will contribute to a growing migration, adding that NATO’s pulling out of Afghanistan and the resulting increase in terrorism activities as well as “Brussels’s pro-migration policy” could also lead to another wave.
“It is clear that nothing is enough for Brussels to convince its bureaucrats that migration poses serious risks,” he said.
Szijjártó said it was an urgent task “to convince Brussels to drop their pro-migration policy” and to ensure that security in Afghanistan does not deteriorate because that could trigger further waves of migration. With regard to migration routes from Afghanistan to Europe, Szijjártó said that a “new and strong deal with Turkey” aimed at stemming migration was an urgent priority.
Concerning plans for the EU to sign a migration-related agreement with 79 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, Szijjártó said that Hungary would not support any deal which could “put further migration pressures on the EU”. The Hungarian government will only lend support to the deal “if it does not target migration but economic and trade cooperation,” Szijjártó said.
Featured photo by Zoltán Máthé/MTI