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Humanitarian Programs Help the Sahel Region Overcome Security Challenges

MTI-Hungary Today 2024.06.10.

The Sahel region is one of the most vulnerable areas in Africa, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade at a press conference in Budapest on Monday with Abdoulaye Diop, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Mali.

After welcoming his African counterpart at his office, Péter Szijjártó said that today’s visit is more topical than ever, as serious security challenges are making life difficult both in the Sahel region and in Central Europe: armed conflicts, wars, migration pressure.

The Minister believes that the relationship with Africa is particularly important, and the interdependence is mutual, because the security of the Sahel also depends to a large extent on what happens in Europe, given that “the war in Ukraine poses a number of very serious challenges not only for Hungary, not only for Central Europe, not only for Europe, but also for the Sahel region and Africa.

Energy prices, inflation, food supply challenges are all daily problems in the Sahel,”

he noted.

The Minister pointed out that the threat of terrorism in the Sahel has been steadily increasing in recent times and that only an international coalition can effectively fight terrorism.

Hungary wishes to provide all support to the countries of the Sahel region to enable the governments to successfully counter the threat of terrorism,

he added.

He said that we can only talk about a successful strategy if we restore international politics to the basis of mutual respect. This was the basis of Hungary’s strategy, which is why he had consulted Abdoulaye Diop on how Hungary could contribute to a truly stable Sahel during its EU Presidency.

“Of course, there is a bilateral cooperation between us based on mutual respect, and this is what allows us to approach each other in this way,” he said, adding that

the government’s support for nine humanitarian programs worth almost HUF 40 million (EUR 101,000) in the past years under the Hungary Helps Program, which has helped to make life better and safer for the people of Mali, helps in this respect.

Mr. Szijjártó stressed that they intend to continue this humanitarian activity throughout the whole zone, because their approach is clear: “not to bring the trouble here, but to bring help where the trouble is, and we will continue to build our policy on this principle in the coming period.”

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Via MTI, Featured image: Facebook/Azbej Tristan

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