Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: ‘Law-abiding guest workers’ not to be mixed up with illegal migrants

Illegal migrants should not be mixed up with people that go to another country "under organised circumstances" to work, the Hungarian foreign minister said in Manila on Thursday.

Peter Szijjarto said that illegal border crossing “is not a human right but a crime”.

According to a statement from the foreign ministry, Szijjarto met Enrique Manalo, his Filipino counterpart, for talks and said both countries saw eye to eye that “any given country should have the right to decide to whom it wants to grant entry and whom it wants to live together with”.

Hungary holds the over 10,000 Filipinos working in Hungary in great esteem, Szijjarto said.

The foreign minister noted that the Philippines and Hungary were celebrating the 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties. He said the two countries were similarly affected by the recent global security and economic crises, and were interested in promoting peace and a balanced economic development in the world. Szijjarto said that conflicts should be resolved “through dialogue and diplomacy rather than constantly passing judgements and criticism.”

According to Szijjarto, Europe is “in very bad shape” with a war going on for the past two and a half years on the continent and with “political and ideological endeavours aimed at hindering East-West cooperation”. “The upcoming Hungarian EU presidency will work to improve the situation, but it requires peace on the continent,” he said.

Cooperation between Hungary and the Philippines is “the best example of successful East-West relations”, he said, adding that the turnover of bilateral trade had exceeded 300 million dollars as a result of Hungary’s significantly increasing its agricultural exports to the Philippines. He added that Hungarian companies were completing major water management projects in the Philippines, while preparations were being made for starting nuclear cooperation between the two countries.

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