Photo: Israeli Defence Forces (archive)

Szijjarto: World has interest in success of Israel’s counter-terrorist operations

It is in the interest of the world that Israel's counter-terrorist operations are successful, Peter Szijjarto, the foreign minister, said on Monday in Brussels, arguing that this would help to ensure that a similar terrorist attack never happened "anywhere ever again".
22. January 2024 17:47

After a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, Szijjarto told a press conference that Hungary’s standpoint was “crystal clear”: it must never be forgotten what triggered the conflict in the Middle East.

“We find Israel’s objective to destroy Hamas not only understandable but also a legitimate interest of the world at large… People who use others, especially women and children, as human shields after mounting a terrorist attack should feel shame,” he said, calling for a swift return to the path set out by the Abraham Accords, namely the normalisation of relations between Israel and the Arab world.

Hungary, he said, called for the “immediate and unconditional release of the hostages who are still in captivity”, noting that a Hungarian citizen was still being held captive and was hopefully alive.

Hungary is in constant contact with Qatar and another important mediating country, he said, adding he would not name that country due to the sensitivity of hostage negotiations.

Szijjarto said he also emphasised Hungary’s position that it found The Hague proceedings against Israel to be “nonsense”.

“It’s nonsense to accuse a country on the receiving end of a brutal terrorist attack of genocide,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said Israel had asked Hungary to allow its national football teams to play some of its official matches in Hungary, as was the case last year.

Israel’s European Championship playoff against Iceland will be held in Hungary, as well as the match of the Israeli under-21 team against Poland, and the next official match of the women’s national team. Also, Hungary supports Maccabi Haifa playing the next European Conference League match in Hungary.

The minister also said that Hungary was a safe country, and anyone who referred to a rise in anti-Semitism in Hungary was “clearly lying”.

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