Photo: MTI

Foreign minister calls for peace talks

Szijjarto: Terrorism constant threat in war’s shadow

The threat of terrorism, made worse by waves of illegal migration, is constant in the shadow of the war in Ukraine, and must not be forgotten, Peter Szijjarto, the foreign minister, said in New York. Terrorist organisations can infiltrate countries around the world on the back of the mass influx of migrants, it's vital that the international community takes decisive action, the ministry said in a statement quoting Szijjarto, who held bilateral meetings as part of this year's UN General Assembly.
21. September 2022 18:00

Meeting Vladimir Voronkov, the Deputy Secretary-General for coordinating the UN’s anti-terrorist activities, Szijjarto said they agreed on expanding the regional office of the UN counter-terrorism office in Budapest.

He noted that Europe has come under increased migration pressure, and he accused the European Union of continuing to encourage people to leave their homes and migrate to Europe.

The minister said people “should not be persuaded to leave” but should receive support for remaining in their homelands.

Meanwhile, Szijjarto said Christians were the most persecuted religious community in the world and often the main victims of terrorism. Hungary will continue to provide every possible support to persecuted Christian communities, he said, referring to his meeting with Cardinal Parolin, the State Secretary of the Holy See.

Szijjarto has also met the foreign ministers of Egypt, Morocco, the Philippines, Sierra Leone and Uzbekistan, among others, the statement said.

The minister promised to lobby the EU so that Egypt and Morocco finally receive the necessary support for effectively curbing illegal migration.

He said Uzbekistan was key to the stability of Central Asia, and he signed an economic agreement with Sierra Leone.

“It’s clear that when it comes to the key challenges facing not only Ukraine but the world, everyone is following the Hungarian position,” he said. “From Asia through Latin America to Africa, many of my counterparts have given positive feedback on the practical, common-sense, patriotic foreign policy that Hungary has pursued in recent years…” he said.

Minister calls for peace talks

“As we are no longer in the eleventh but in the twelfth hour, the war in Ukraine should be ended as soon as possible. For this reason, the sides involved should use the week of the UN General Assembly session for launching genuine negotiations,” the minister told MTI in New York.

Commenting on Russia’s partial mobilisation, Szijjarto said all steps escalating the conflict are bad news and all steps that bring peace closer are good ones.

As Ukraine’s neighbour, Hungary faces the negative effects of war directly, and has therefore a vested interest in the earliest possible resolution of the conflict so as to prevent greater trouble, he said.

“We would like to call the attention of all for the need to put an end to the war . We should use the opportunity of this week’s UN General Assembly, the United Nations, which was set up as a forum for discussing even the toughest global issues,” he said.

“We, in Ukraine’s neighbourhood, cannot say anything else but that we want peace and call on the major world policy players to finally negotiate with each other, reach a ceasefire agreement, and finally start talks that can bring peace and put an end to the totally senseless suffering of tens or hundreds of thousands, and even millions of people,” Szijjarto said.

The minister noted that over the past few months Turkey had proved to be the single successful mediator by paving the way for relaunching grain deliveries that somewhat mitigated the world food crisis.

Based on this achievement, the Turkish government would perhaps have a chance for mediation between the warring sides, Szijjarto said, adding that East-West conflicts are always bad news for central Europe.

Speaking about his packed programme, the minister said that although the war in Ukraine was still in the focus in New York, one should not forget that the world is facing a number of other challenges, such as violations of national minority rights.

Szijjarto said that he had attended a high-level meeting concerning the Declaration on Minority Rights.

This issue is all the more important for Hungary as millions of ethnic Hungarians are living beyond the country’s borders, he said. “We insist that Hungarians living anywhere in the world should be able to preserve their national identity, language and rights, Szijjarto said, adding that the United Nations should take firm action against violations of minority rights.

“In terms of the rights of national communities there is no room for compromise,” he said.

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