Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: Migration pressure expected to reach new high

Food shortages resulting from the war in Ukraine and the growing threat of terrorism is expected to put Europe under greater migration pressure than ever before, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in Madrid on Thursday.

Speaking after a NATO summit, Szijjarto said the meeting’s final session covered security challenges to the south of Europe.

The minister said the Islamic State terrorist group had recently ordered its followers to take advantage of the focus on Ukraine and carry out attacks in Europe. He noted the recent terrorist attacks in north Africa and the Far East.

This situation is further aggravated by the looming global food shortage stemming from the war in Ukraine, which could cause a fall in the food supply of Middle Eastern and African countries that are already bordering on instability, Szijjarto said.

This critical food shortage will lead to a rise in extremism and the threat of terrorism, which are root causes of migration, leading to a “brutal increase” in migration pressure, he added.

Szijjarto noted that the Hungarian authorities apprehended over 100,000 illegal migrants on the country’s southern border so far this year. Meanwhile, Hungary is seeing an influx of people fleeing the war in Ukraine from the east, all of whom are being allowed into the country, he added.

“We have accepted more than 800,000 refugees from Ukraine while we have stopped 100,000 illegal migrants on the southern border, which we will continue to do,” Szijjarto said.

Hungary is committing “a huge amount of resources” to ensuring that Europe’s external borders are well protected, he said. “We we’re not really getting any external assistance but we are protecting our border nevertheless,” he added.

Szijjarto said NATO also had a role to play in this area, noting that it had to support countries like Morocco, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon, whose stability was critical to the protection of the alliance’s member states.

The minister said he will travel this afternoon to Istanbul, where he is scheduled to discuss the upgrade of Hungary’s Paks nuclear power plant with the leaders of Russia’s Rosatom on Friday.

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