Minister: Hungary will argue for peace ‘despite attacks, criticism, lies’
Szijjarto told the UN General Assembly during a discussion on Ukraine in New York that he was the representative of a nation that had been living next door to the war for 500 days, and already paid a huge price for the conflict with many ethnic Hungarians dying in the fights, the ministry said.
“Hungarians are paying a big price for the war while they bear no responsibility for its outbreak”, he said.
Szijjarto said that “everyone or almost everyone” had the same view about the war: “This war must be condemned. War is bad and brutal and it must be stopped because it brings death, devastation and destruction”.
For more than a year, international politics have been focused on what they think about the war, he said. It would be high time to talk also about what they think about peace and how it could be achieved, what the solution could be, he added.
He said the solution should be sought “exclusively at the negotiating table and not on the battlefield”.
He also said that despite some people stating that it was too early to start the talks, he was convinced that “even yesterday would have been too late”.
“Those that argue for starting the negotiations later risk more people dying, more children losing their fathers, and reconstruction to be longer and more expensive,” he said.
He praised the efforts targeting peaceful settlement, citing efforts by the Vatican, Turkey, China and African states.
“It would be good if the UN could offer a platform for such dialogue,” he said.
Szijjarto said that in all cases of armed conflicts in far-away locations, European Union members support peaceful solutions and dialogue, but in the case of Ukraine, there is a very different mainstream position. “Why are we not able to say the same as when the wars are outside of Europe,” he asked.
He said that the voices accusing the Hungarian government of lack of solidarity were “ridiculous” considering that more than 1.1 million refugees had entered Hungary from Ukraine.
He resolutely rejected those “lecturing” Hungary, stating that ever since 1956, Hungarians have been very aware of what it was like to fight for freedom while being outnumbered.
He expressed regret for the collapse of the Black Sea grain agreement and added that this could destabilise countries that were already in a fragile situation, resulting in further waves of migrants which could increase the threat of terrorism.
Central European transit will increase and Hungary has implemented infrastructure developments, and the government is ready to help grains supplies if it does not cause disturbance in local regional markets, Szijjarto said.
“I wish there was more dialogue about peace than about arms supplies,” he said.
“Living next door, we hope that we will have a neighbour in the near future that will not have to suffer from war,” he added.