Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: Putting end to ‘world war frenzy’ in interest of Europe, Africa

Putting an end to the war in Ukraine and "the world war frenzy evolving in Europe" as soon as possible "is in the interest of the peoples both in Europe and in Africa," Peter Szijjarto, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, said in Budapest on Monday.
3. June 2024 12:54

At a press conference held jointly with his Angolan counterpart, Tete Antonio, Szijjarto said “preparations for a world war are manifest in the political trends of Europe” adding that the continent, “earlier seen as an island of peace, is now dominated by the hysterics of war”.

Szijjarto noted that escalation of the war in Ukraine posed a global risk, adding that “we now need the voice of the peace camp more than ever … therefore we appreciate the voices of common sense from Africa, and greatly appreciate the African states that clearly, openly, and honestly support the cause of peace,” he said.

Noting the challenges Africa had to face in recent decades, the minister said “it is worth listening when Africa says that each armed conflict … will be resolved at the negotiating table.” “The later we start the talks, the more people will die and the greater the destruction,” he added.

“The war (in Ukraine) can only be resolved through peace talks and a ceasefire … let alone the damage this war has caused to the entire world in terms of higher energy prices, war inflation, and food security,” the minister said.

Europe and Africa have a shared interest in putting an end to the war in Ukraine as soon as possible, he insisted.

Hungary and Angola see eye to eye concerning migration, Szijjarto said. He added that Africa’s population was expected to grow by 750 million in the next 20 years, requiring as many more jobs, education, health services, and drinking water. Unless those conditions are provided “we will see one of the most terrible humanitarian disasters of all times or face the greatest migration pressure ever on the European continent,” he added.

The EU should come up with a comprehensive development strategy for Africa to prevent such migration pressures, he said, adding that the upcoming Hungarian presidency would promote that cause. As one of the first steps in the process, the EU and the Southern African Development Community will hold a meeting of their ministers in Angola on June 18, Szijjarto said, adding that the conference would be chaired by him and his Angolan counterpart.

At their talks, Szijjarto and the Angolan minister signed an agreement to continue a higher education agreement under which Hungary offers an annual 50 scholarships to Angolan youths to study at Hungarian universities.

Answering a question, Szijjarto said the Hungarian government had declined to support the European Union’s punitive tariffs on several Russian and Belarusian agricultural products “to protect the interests of Hungarian businesses.” He said “if the EU imposes prohibitive tariffs on Russia, Russia will respond, and measures taken in reaction could create difficulties for Hungarian companies in Russia or even make their situation impossible. “Why would it be in our interest to support measures that could make it difficult for Hungarian companies?” the minister asked.

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