“Hungary has made it clear that Europe should not admit a single illegal immigrant, but African countries that help ensure that illegal immigrants do not come to Europe must be supported, and Uganda is one such country”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in Budapest on Thursday.

At a joint press conference following his meeting with Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kahamba Kutesa, Mr. Szijjártó highlighted: “Uganda has done and is doing a lot in the interests of regional stability, it is providing shelter to one and a half million refugees from neighbouring countries, in addition to which it understands and supports Hungary’s policy according to which assistance must be taken to where the trouble is instead of launching all kinds of waves of migration from Africa to Europe”. The Hungarian Foreign Minister said that in his view people who are in difficulties for various reasons must be given assistance to enable them to remain as close as possible to their homes and to return home at the earliest opportunity. “This is also how Africans who find themselves in difficult situation must be helped, instead of encouraging them take the hazardous trip and possibly risk their lives by wanting to come to Europe”, he explained.

Mr. Szijjártó told the press that at the meeting the parties had agreed that Hungary will be implementing a four-point development programme in Uganda to help the country bear the burden of having to care for one and a half million refugees. “Hungary has offered to help supply water to a Ugandan refugee camp. In addition, Hungary will also be installing solar panels to assure the electricity supply of one such refugee camp”, he explained. “In addition, Hungary is also assisting the establishment of a complex cybersecurity system and is also undertaking the production of security documents, so Uganda can know exactly who is living on its territory”, he continued.

The Hungarian Foreign Minister told reporters that the parties had also agreed on establishing tighter bilateral cooperation between the two countries’ relative counter-terrorism institutions. “We have also reinforced our agriculture cooperation and will be continuing to organise training courses for agriculture professionals”, he said, adding: “We will also be concluding a scholarship agreement within the framework of which ten Ugandan students-a-year will be able to begin their university studies in Hungary”.

Sam Kahamba Kutesa stressed that there are opportunities for cooperation between the two countries within several areas, including agriculture and the fight against terrorism. As he explained, one and a half million refugees have arrived in Uganda from neighbouring countries, and many Africans are fleeing to Uganda to escape various conflicts. The refugees live in the northern part of the country, where the infrastructure isn’t designed to support this many people, he explained, adding that for this reason Uganda is extremely grateful to Hungary for the assistance it has offered to provide.

Prior to the press conference, the two foreign ministers signed a bilateral agreement on development cooperation.