Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó rejected criticism of Hungary on Thursday.

In a statement issued to Hungarian news agency MTI by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Szijjártó reacted to comments made by President of the European Parliament Martin Schultz on Thursday morning. “Hungary is one of very few European Union member states that are candid about the greatest challenge in the history of the European Union and has an effective and rational proposal for handling it”, he stressed.

“This is precisely why Hungary is calling for the establishment of a joint European force to protect Greece’s external borders and the financing of refugee camps in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq”, he pointed out.

With reference to comments by Serbian Minister of Interior Nebojša Stefanović, Mr. Szijjártó said: Hungarian police were subjected to a brutal attack at the Röszke border crossing station on Wednesday.

“An aggressive group of immigrants launched a prolonged attack on Hungarian police from the territory of Serbia using stones and pieces of concrete. 14 Hungarian police officers were injured during the attack. Had Serbian police intervened in time, this brutal attack could have been prevented, and then the unfortunate injuries to members of the press would certainly also have been avoided”, he said.

The Foreign Minister also noted that he was surprised to hear the critical statements made by Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Paulo Gentiloni, in view of the fact that Hungary is applying the only successful solution so far to protect the external Schengen borders of the European Union.

“We call on the head of Italian diplomacy to refrain from criticising those who are upholding valid community law and instead do everything possible to ensure that Italy itself acts according to EU law”, he stressed.

Mr. Szijjártó also stated: “We strongly object to the criticism voiced by OSCE Representative on Freedom and the Media Dunja Mijatović”. The Minister rejected the “unfounded accusations” and expressed his regret that Ms. Mijatović “did not make her statement based on true facts”. “Nobody in Hungary is threatening reporters and nobody is preventing them from doing their job”, he declared.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI)