Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó rejected a comment from German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, according to which Hungary is not conforming to international conventions on immigrants, calling the statement outrageous.
“We reject this preposterous and outrageous accusation. We in Hungary are treating all immigrants according to international law”, the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs told a correspondent from Hungarian news agency MTI in Prague on Friday.
Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) that is governing together with the conservative CDU/SDU coalition was speaking with Maybrit Illner, host of a political talk show screened on the German ZDF television channel on Thursday evening.
In reply to a question about letting asylum seekers from Hungary cross the border and why Germany was violating EU regulations to do so, Mr. Gabriel said that it was those who have not been registering refugees for months and were simply letting them travel on to the West and to Germany, who were violating EU regulations.
“As too are countries that are not even conforming to their own regulations on refugees such as Hungary, which is party to the Geneva Convention (on refugees), but is nevertheless creating undignified conditions”, the German Vice-Chancellor continued. Given this situation “we were faced with the question of whether we should simply look on as people on the Austrian border eventually end up in violent conflict with the Hungarian authorities or the army, and simply look on as human traffickers continue to earn money by endangering people’s lives or killing them, or are we instead prepared to say no and try to receive some of the people like a strong country”, Mr. Gabriel added.
Mr. Szijjártó, who is in Prague attending a meeting of the Visegrád Group and the Foreign Ministers of Germany and Luxembourg, explained that Hungary is treating every immigrant according to international law and providing them with the required care and supplies at the locations designated for them.
“In Hungary, immigrants receive food, water, medical treatment and access to hygiene facilities in refugee camps, in accordance with international legal conventions”, the Minister pointed out. “Anyone who makes a statement to the contrary, no matter who they may be, is lying”, he declared.
(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)