Due to the approaching winter and Europe’s condemnation of Turkey’s offensive in Syria, the next few months will bring about increased migration pressure, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in Brussels on Monday.
Speaking to the press on the sidelines of the meeting of EU foreign ministers, Szijjártó said the root causes of migration had intensified recently. Instability in countries outside Europe has a negative impact on European security, he said.
Hungary’s stance is that international migration policy must shift quickly to solving problems locally and helping people to return home instead of encouraging further waves of migration, he said, adding that Hungary will continue to focus on border protection and exporting aid to areas where it is needed.
Accordingly, Hungary will send another 70 soldiers to Afghanistan, increasing the number of Hungarians participating in the mission there to 170, Szijjártó said. Additionally, it has extended until 2024 the country’s annual contribution of 500,000 dollars to support national security and defence forces in Afghanistan, he said.
In the context of a nuclear agreement with Iran, Hungary resolutely supports the European Union’s policy which aims to preserve the agreement; or at least parts of it, Szijjártó said.
Commenting on Libya, he promised to make efforts in order to ensure that the 35 million euros offered earlier by Visegrad Group countries for border protection should reach its target.
Commenting on Sudan, he said the most of the 90,000 US dollars offered by Hungary to support the country is channeled to 25 scholarships granted each year. Additionally, Hungary supports the initiative regarding a European aid to boost Sudan’s economy so as to prevent another big wave of migrants, he said.
It is important that the EU should develop and maintain policies that help these regions retain their populations, he added.
In response to a question, he said the Islamic State had changed tactics to activate “dormant cells and lone wolves”. It is vitally important to prevent the more than 5,000 EU citizens that fought for IS from endangering Europe, he added.
Featured photo by Mátyás Borsos/Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade