“Europe’s security is exclusively dependent on the goodwill of the Turks; Europe’s borders remain unprotected”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in a statement to Hungarian news agency MTI after attending a meeting of foreign ministers of the member states of the Central European Initiative (CEI) in Split, Croatia.

“Turkey has terminated the re-admittance agreement it had previously concluded with Greece, meaning that from now on Turkey will not be re-admitting illegal immigrants from Greece”, the Minister added.

According to Mr. Szijjártó, this is an extreme warning with relation to how fragile the situation is that has developed along Europe’s southern border.

“If the EU-Turkey agreement suffers the same fate as the Greece-Turkey agreement, then another very major wave of migration could set out along the Western Balkan migration route, and hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants could arrive at Hungary’s southern border within a very short period of time”, the Minister said.

“The only line of defence that exists and that actually works on the Western Balkan migration route is the security fence that Hungary has erected along its southern border”, Mr. Szijjártó declared.

“There are extremely concerning developments south of Europe: it is clear that over the past three and a half years Brussels has been incapable of establishing the EU’s southern line of defence”, he stressed.

“So the danger is here, and is continuously increasing”, he said, adding that the participants of the meeting had agreed that a common policy is required that does not encourage migrants to set out towards Europe. “Migration must be handled at its causes. We must establish close cooperation with the source countries of migration, and which can help migration come to an end”, the Minister emphasised.

“In addition to migration, EU enlargement was also a topic of discussion at the meeting, but what everyone was talking about is that there is a new Western Balkan migration route in development”, Mr. Szijjártó said.

On the sidelines of the meeting, the Hungarian Foreign Minister held bilateral talks with his Italian counterpart Enzo Moavero Milanesi, and with Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić.

The CEI is the largest non-institutionalised cooperation framework for the countries of the region, incorporating twelve counties and some 200 million citizens. Cooperation is coordinated by the Initiative’s rotating President for the given year, which is currently Croatia. Heads of government meet once-a-year, while the foreign ministers of the partner countries meet biannually.