"The European Union should reward countries that are acting responsibly in handling the migration crisis, and accordingly closer cooperation should also be developed with the Republic of Cape Verde”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Wednesday in Budapest.

Mr. Szijjártó met with Cape Verde’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Communities and Defence Luis Filipe Lopes Tavares, and at the press conference held following the meeting highlighted: “The EU must assist in maintaining the security and stability of the African country within the framework of border protection and security cooperation in view of the fact that the Republic of Cape Verde is committed to cooperation”.

“In addition, Cape Verde would like to afford visa-free travel to citizens of the European Union, and accordingly the EU should also ease visa requirements with regard to the Republic of Cape Verde” he said.

“Africa’s significance with regard to its countries’ economic growth and security has become obvious; it will soon have some of the world’s most dynamically developing economies and the continent is also one of the sources of the wave of migration affecting Europe”, Mr. Szijjártó explained.

“Accordingly, it is in Europe’s fundamental economic and security interests to develop the closest possible cooperation with Africa”, he pointed out.

The Minister said that in his opinion Hungary is doing its share of this task and is placing significant emphasis on relations with Cape Verde, because it is also a Christian country and the common cultural foundations make cooperation easier. “In addition, the two countries also share almost exactly the same opinion on migration in view of the fact that Cape Verde believes that it is the responsibility of Africa and Europe to develop rational cooperation to prevent hundreds of thousands of people from leaving Africa”, he explained.

“The Republic of Cape Verde is the only country in the sub-Saharan region that is re-accepting immigrants”, he added.

According to Mr. Szijjártó, the EU should conclude an economic agreement with the Republic of Cape Verde at the earliest opportunity.

“Hungary is providing ten scholarship places each year for students from the African country to attend Hungarian universities”, he said, adding that in addition the Republic of Cape Verde is supporting the appearance of Hungarian water management technologies on its market, meaning Hungarian enterprises may soon be playing a part in the development of local water management services.

“Today is important from a diplomatic history perspective, in view of the fact that this is the first time that a Foreign Minister from the Republic of Cape Verde has been on an official visit to Hungary”, he noted.

Luis Filipe Lopes Tavares stressed: his country would like to be “Hungary’s friend” in Africa in view of the fact that they share the same values and both countries are affected by migration problems.

“The Republic of Cape Verde is a small island nation, but it wants to keep migration under control”, he declared, adding that similarly to Hungary, his country believes that problems must be handled at their source to enable people to enjoy a good standard of living where they were born and live.

Mr. Tavares praised bilateral cooperation within the field of education, and especially music education, and also highlighted the two countries’ common Christian roots, which, he explained, assure excellent cooperation.