The situation in the Middle East is a key issue for Hungary for several reasons, including regional security and migration waves, Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s foreign minister, said in New York on Wednesday.
If trends point towards stability, peace and tranquility in the region, there is a lesser likelihood for new waves of migration to start, Szijjártó said before a UN Security Council debate over the situation in the Middle East.
“Instability or wartime situations obviously trigger waves of migration,” he said, adding that migrants tended to choose Europe as their destination.
Szijjártó noted that Israel is Hungary’s strategic ally and the Hungarian government had always taken a stand for Israel’s right to self-defence. The minister called on the international community to make it clear that it stands on Israel’s side and admits that that country is exposed to grave threats of terror, and that terrorist organisations and terrorists should be called by their name.
“We always regret to see some UN committees, bodies and member states pursuing expressly anti-Israel policies, and adopting unfair, one-sided positions on Israel,” he said, adding that Hungary favoured a balanced approach.
Over the past few decades, Szijjártó said, almost all Middle East peace plans failed, only the Abraham Accords initiated during Donald Trump’s presidency seemed to be viable. On this score, the minister stressed the need for as many Arab states as possible to normalize their relations with Israel.
The situation in the Middle East is all the more important because Hungary, as a Christian state for over a thousand years, feels responsibility for Christian communities in that region, he said.
“Several Christian communities are being persecuted in the Middle East, a situation for which the United Nations should carry part of the blame,” he said.
Concerning President Joe Biden’s administration, Szijjártó said that Hungary’s relations with the United States had been the best during Donald Trump’s term, but Hungary always respects the decisions of the partner countries’ citizens.
“Unfortunately, our open approach to this issue is not always reciprocated on this side of the ocean,” he said.
“Hungary always strives for the best possible relations with the elected US administration. Our political positions, however, are not always identical. To be more precise, they are rarely identical,” Szijjártó said.
Featured photo via Péter Szijjártó’s Facebook page