Hamas militants - Photo: Israeli Defence Forces (archive)

Szijjarto in UN: Government demands release of Hamas’s Hungarian hostages

Hungary's government demands that Hamas release its Hungarian hostages and that the international community do everything in its power to secure the release of those abducted from Israel by the terrorist group, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in New York on Monday.
20. November 2023 17:37

Speaking ahead of a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, Szijjarto noted that thanks to the joint efforts of Israel and Egypt, the Hungarian citizens who had been stuck in Gaza and wanted to leave had been successful evacuated. He also underscored the importance of minimising civilian casualties in the conflict.

In the video on Facebook, the minister also noted that Hamas was holding five Hungarian citizens hostage. “Therefore we can’t accept any declaration, decision or resolution that doesn’t explicitly and clearly call for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages,” he said.

“We demand that Hamas release the hostages and that the international community do everything it can to secure their release,” Szijjarto added.

Meanwhile, he emphasised the importance of Egypt’s stability, calling the north African country one of Europe’s “main bastions of defence”, given Cairo’s key role in curbing migration pressure.

Szijjarto said he will also meet leaders of the UN’s counter-terrorism body as well as the under-secretary-general responsible for African relations.

Meanwhile, addressing the issue of migration, the minister said the Hungarian authorities last year prevented 275,000 illegal entries and more than 170,000 so far this year, adding that the migrants coming to Hungary’s borders were increasingly aggressive.

“This is, unfortunately, a direct consequence of Brussels pursuing a migration policy that encourages and inspires migration, and constantly fuels the business model of people-smuggling rings,” the minister said. “We have to put a stop to this, because it will have tragic consequences.”

Szijjarto said migration pressure on Europe originating from Africa would become “unbearable” later on if it was left unaddressed. This requires Europe to combat terrorism, as it is one of the root causes of migration waves, he said, noting that this was why Hungary was sending 200 soldiers to Chad in the interest of upholding the stability of the Sahel region.

The minister also underlined the need to bring economic development to the region. “That’s why it’s important that Europe bring developments and investments there that will create jobs, instead of attracting migrants from Africa,” he said.

He noted that Hungary is providing 140 million dollars in tied aid to Africa in addition to carrying out 30 million dollars’ worth of social development schemes. Hungary also supports the survival of Christian communities in 18 countries and offers scholarships to 1,425 students each year to study at Hungarian universities, he added.

Meanwhile, Szijjarto said Hungary’s foreign policy was “highly respected” on the world stage because the government pursued “an honest and sovereign policy”.

“So when it comes to Hungarian foreign policy, everyone knows full well that its rules are written in Budapest instead of being dictated from somewhere else,” he said. “And this sovereign Hungarian foreign policy is indeed respected here in New York, in the UN and on the world political stage.”

Leave a Reply