Hungary’s Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó stressed the importance of closer cooperation with Egypt, a country crucial for stability in Europe’s southern neighbours. Szijjártó held talks with Egyptian government officials in Cairo on Wednesday. Speaking to Hungarian news agency MTI over the phone, he said that “if Egypt becomes destabilised that would result in the exodus of hundreds of thousands of people to arrive in Europe as migrants, appearing even at the borders of Hungary.”
Meanwhile a fresh survey by Budapest-based think-tank Nézőpont Institute revealed that more than half of Hungary’s opposition supporters are pleased with the government’s migrant policy. The poll also showed that support for the ruling parties remains well above support for the opposition. Fully 68% of Hungarians are satisfied with the way the government handles illegal border crossing, including 51% of opposition supporters, the statement said. As many as 81% of Hungarians believe terrorists could be among migrants who cross the border illegally and 79% oppose the European Union’s migrant redistribution policy. A total of 74% of people who said they had no party affiliations and 41% of left-wing supporters said they were against the EU’s migrant quota. Support for political parties remained mostly unchanged in August compared to July, Nézőpont said citing a representative survey of 1,000 people interviewed by phone between August 12 and 15. The ruling Fidesz-Christian Democrats led the polls with 32% from all voters, followed by radical nationalist Jobbik with 12% support, the Socialists with 10%, the Democratic Coalition with 6%, LMP with 4%, Együtt with 2%, and the Liberals with 1%. (source: nezopontintezet.hu)
Péter Szijjártó said Hungary therefore urged closer cooperation between the EU and Egypt as well as convening a session of the EU-Egypt Association Council. Szijjártó said he held talks on bilateral economic and trade cooperation including a large-scale industrial, agricultural and energy cooperation programme.
Péter Szijjártó (L) and Egypt’s PM Sherif Ismail (R) hold talks in Cairo (photo: Szabó Árpád – kormany.hu)
“A flagship project” of the programme could be Egypt’s ordering 700 railway carriages worth 900 million euros, the minister said, adding that talks were under way with a prospective partner, a HungarianRussian consortium. The Egyptian partners expressed interest in cooperation with Hungarian experts in water management and water purification technologies, as well as in nuclear power, Szijjártó said.
via hungarymatters.hu and MTI