Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: ‘Europe cannot be secure without security in Africa’

Europe "cannot be a secure place" if there is no security in Africa, Peter Szijjarto, the foreign minister, said in Budapest on Monday, at a press conference held jointly with Abdoulaye Diop, Mali's minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation.

The Sahel region is one of Africa’s most vulnerable areas “therefore we could say that Europe’s security is determined in the Sahel,” Szijjarto said.

Szijjarto said a visit by his counterpart from Mali, for the first time in 47 years, was “more topical than ever” amid security challenges both in the Sahel and in central Europe: “armed conflicts, wars, and migratory pressure”.

High energy prices, inflation, and challenges around food supply are “daily problems” in the Sahel, he said, adding that the threat of terrorism was also on the rise and warned that terrorism could also be fought through international cooperation. “When terrorism is on the increase it will trigger more serious waves of migration … and the Hungarian government will provide every assistance to countries in the Sahel region to ensure stability and peace, helping local governments successfully fight terrorism,” he said.

The minister said Hungary’s upcoming European Union presidency would work to make the European continent “a secure place again … where there is no war, a continent where migration could be stemmed.” He said a successful strategy required that “mutual respect should be restored” in international politics … and it needs dialogue rather than diktats, declarations or lecturing”. Mali and Hungary “have a natural cooperation based on mutual respect”, Szijjarto said, and noted that the Hungarian government had helped that country with some 40 million forints “to make the life of people in Mali better and more secure” through programmes under the Hungary Helps scheme.

He said Hungarian voters had clearly supported the government in its policies, adding that the over 2 million votes cast for ruling Fidesz on Sunday were “the highest number a party has ever garnered in Hungary in a European parliamentary election”. He said garnering 44.6 percent of the votes “is worth a European champion title in countries with more than two parties running in the election.”

Answering a question, Szijjarto said he regretted the recent resignation of Culture Minister Janos Csak, noting an “excellent cooperation” with him as well as his personal appreciation.


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