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Tristan Azbej: Hungary, Italy support Europe of sovereign, strong nation states

The governments of Hungary and Italy support a Europe of sovereign, strong nation states, the state secretary in charge of the programme to help persecuted Christians said on Tuesday at the end of a two-day visit involving government and church consultations.

Tristan Azbej said he had met deputy Foreign Minister Edmondo Cirielli and discussed joint activities in Africa, helping persecuted Christians and the approaching European Parliament election.

“We agreed that it was vitally important to strengthen political forces promoting a Europe similar to that supported forcefully and consistently by the Italian and Hungarian governments,” he added.

The meeting gave an opportunity “to compare political views and targets about the role of the European Union, especially in the crisis areas of Africa and the Middle East and in developing countries” he said. Rome and Budapest have “very strong shared positions” in development policy, he added.

Both the governments of Italy and Hungary believe that illegal migration must be stopped instead of being managed, he said, adding that an international aid policy was being developed to find the most efficient and humane way of reducing migration with the help of support being taken to where the problems are.

Azbej presented Hungary’s actions in Africa to the representatives of the Italian government, including the Hungary Helps programme opening a representative office in Chad to carry out humanitarian, development and peace promotion activities, and other action taken in the Sahel.

At a meeting with Grand Chancellor of the Order of Malta Riccardo Paterno di Montecupo, he expressed thanks on behalf of the Hungarian government for the partnership between the Hungarian government, Christian churches and organisations of Christian faith, including the Hungarian Maltese Charity covering the areas of social services, health, education and international aid. The Hungarian Maltese Charity is a partner of Hungary Helps in Syria and Kenya.

The Grand Chancellor expressed thanks for the participation of Hungary Helps in Lebanon and urged for a successful cooperation started in 2019 to continue in the future.

They also discussed humanitarian aid to civilian victims of the war in Ukraine and the Gaza conflict.

Cardinal Michael Czerny, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, also expressed appreciation of the Hungarian government’s cooperation with Christian churches and organisations of Christian faith around the world.

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