The Hungarian Government considers it blackmail and un-European behaviour that the European Commission intends to institute infringement proceedings against the Member States which are not prepared to implement the quota decision on the mandatory resettlement of illegal immigrants, Péter Szijjártó stated in Parliament, stressing: the Cabinet is not going to yield to blackmail.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade stressed before the start of ordinary business in Parliament: not even the European Commission can take the right away from the Member States to decide whom they wish to let into their own countries, and whom they wish to live together with and whom not.

He said: they will not yield to the blackmail of the European Commission which extends substantially beyond its powers, they will not yield to this “expressly un-European behaviour”, and they will not allow anyone to enter the territory of Hungary illegally.

According to Mr Szijjártó, the causes giving rise to the immigration crisis must be managed instead. The main reason for the crisis is the terrorist organisation called Islamic State, against which an extremely broad international unity and collaboration has been forged, he added.

The Minister said: the global coalition led by the United States has achieved major results recently. They recaptured some 62 per cent of the territories previously occupied by the Islamic State in Iraq, and 30 per cent in Syria, thereby liberating 4.1 million people.

He said that Hungary has every reason to be proud of the role played by Hungarian soldiers in the counter-terrorism coalition. More than five hundred Hungarian soldiers have served in Iraq to date based on Parliament’s authorisation granted in 2015, he detailed.

He pointed out: “we all may be proud of the fact that we are among the 27 countries in the world which are sending real, flesh-and-blood soldiers to the international fight against terrorism”.

According to Mr Szijjártó’s evaluation, the civilised world cannot aim for anything less than defeating the Islamic State, thereby not only addressing one of the causes of migration, but also significantly improving the security of the whole of Europe and Europe’s neighbourhood.

The Minister highlighted that the new US administration has given the fight against the Islamic State new impetus, and NATO has recently decided to join the coalition against the terrorist organisation.

Even the European people are now experiencing the activities of the world’s most brutal terrorist organisation first hand: in addition to the pressure of migration, the threat of terrorism has also become a part of daily life, he stressed.

Mr Szijjártó said: the Hungarian Government proposes in the interest of fully defeating the Islamic State that, similar to the other participants of the global coalition, Hungary, too, should increase its contribution. He added: they are proposing to increase the contingent of 150 at present to 200, and will initiate the extension of their territorial mandate to the entire territory of Iraq.

The Minister highlighted: they are further proposing that, in addition to guarding, escorting and training responsibilities, the military contingent should also be involved in military assistance and consulting responsibilities. Their mandate would extend to the end of 2019, he informed Parliament.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)