Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: Change needed in European migration, Africa policies

The European Union should pursue radically different policies on migration and Africa in order to prevent the emergence of more serious crises, the Hungarian foreign minister said in Brussel on Saturday.
4. February 2024 6:19

The ministry cited Peter Szijjarto telling a press conference after an informal meeting of the EU foreign affairs council that the security of the continent started “in Africa which undoubtedly faces some very serious challenges”.

If Brussels maintains its current migration policy, the African continent’s problems will affect Europe, which would be “hardly able to handle them”, he said.

Africa’s population has increased by 590 million in the past 20 years and is estimated to grow by an additional 750 million in the upcoming 20 years, which in itself is more than the population of Europe in total, Szijjarto said.

“The question is whether the African population growing by a significant extent, by many million people, stays in Africa or they set off towards Europe,” Szijjarto said. “The answer depends on whether Africa will be a secure place in terms of physical and economic characteristics,” he added.

“Radically different European migration and Africa policies are needed, security must be created on the continent with the help of economic development, and help must be provided to fight the increasing threat of terror,” Szijjarto said.

Hungary has taken its share in preventing further waves of migrants to take off towards Europe, he added.

“Over five years, we have provided some 100 billion forints (EUR 260m) worth of development resources to African countries to help them modernise their water management systems and ensure that people have clean and healthy drinking water, and are able to develop health-care services, education and public administration,” he said.

Additionally, the government provided some 6.5 billion forints to support Christian communities to stay in their home, and offered 1,460 young Africans scholarships annually to study in Hungarian universities, Szijjarto added.

Terrorism especially affects the Sahel, and the government therefore works together with the countries of the region ready for cooperation in order to reduce the threat of terror and consequently the pressure of migration, he added.

Hungary supports probe into UN agency employees’ alleged involvement in Hamas action

Hungary supports an investigation over the alleged involvement of some employees of the UN’s agency aiding Palestinians in Hamas’s terrorist attacks against Israel last October, the minister said.

Peter Szijjarto told a press conference after an informal meeting of the EU’s foreign affairs council that “a heated debate” had developed over the question whether funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) should be suspended or delayed over the issue.

“I think that our common goal must be to prevent a humanitarian disaster. And our common goal must also be to prevent that innocent people should suffer, and to ensure that food, water and medicine supplies reach the civilian population,” said the foreign minister.

“It is however absolutely unacceptable, in fact intolerable, if employees of a UN organisation take part in any action or the operation of a terrorist organisation in any form,” he added.

Szijjarto said that given the gravity of the claim, a probe must be launched “instead of jumping at the EU commissioner over initiating an investigation”.

New proposals make failed sanctions policy ‘even more unserious’

As the second anniversary of the Russia-Ukraine war is approaching, there are increasing efforts in the European Union to approve a new package of sanctions against Russia but “these would only make the already failed sanctions policy even more unserious”, the minister said.

The ministry cited Szijjarto as saying after an informal meeting of the EU foreign affairs council in Brussels that these efforts constituted “window dressing”. “It is easy to see that with one package of sanctions approved, now everyone must make serious efforts to find organisations, industries and persons that are not yet on the sanctions list or their families are not yet included in that list,” he said.

He said it was high time for everyone to admit that the sanctions policy had failed and “the European Union should not be made to appear even more unserious”.


Leave a Reply