“All Hungarians stranded abroad are being given assistance to return home, no matter where they may be in the world. We are continuously monitoring the requests that are submitted to our embassies, and the working group is working 24 hours-a-day”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó wrote above a video posted to his Facebook page on Monday.

In the video, Mr. Szijjártó and the Ministry’s Parliamentary State Secretary Levente Magyar discuss how to bring home Hungarians who are stranded abroad. During the conversation, it is stated that some 1500 Hungarians have been provided with assistance to return home over the weekend, and roughly the same number are awaiting help. Mr. Magyar says everyone who has requested assistance from the Ministry in one form or another is being tracked.

Mr. Szijjártó explains that Cyprus is an acute issue, where all commercial aviation has been stopped. This means the eight Hungarians trapped there will have to be brought home with a private plane. Mr. Magyar indicates that according to plan the Hungarians trapped in Cyprus will be brought home on Tuesday, adding that the Ministry is also examining other situations in which Hungary may have to organise an evacuation independently. Mr. Szijjártó adds that an independent evacuation of this nature may also be necessary in the case of Peru, where there are currently 58 Hungarians.

There are 21 Hungarians in the Philippines, 20 in India and 36 in Israel. In reply to a question from the Minister, Mr. Magyar confirms that the Hungarians stranded in Israel will be brought home during the course of this week with the involvement of the United Hungarian Jewish Congregation. Dozens of people were brought home over the weekend from Chile and Argentina in South America, and from the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean region. There are currently 156 Hungarians in Thailand and 71 in Indonesia, but air passenger services to Europe are still taking off from these countries.

According to the State Secretary, some African countries that will soon be totally closed off or already have been, and which are so small that even major European partners are not sending special flights, could also pose a problem. “We will also find a solution in these cases”, he adds, however.

There are still around 900 Hungarians in the United States who would like to get back home. They are being collected in various cities where Hungary has a diplomatic representation, and from where there is a good chance that they will be able to leave the country on a commercial flight, or to where a European country or Hungary itself will be able to send a charter flight.

Mr. Szijjártó said the other neuralgic point is Italy, where there are currently roughly 35 Hungarians who are unable to return home because there is absolutely no way of doing so using commercial public transport services. A bus will be the solution in their case, the Minister says. According to Mr. Magyar, there are also a few dozen Hungarians in Warsaw, and Mr. Szijjártó asks that their return home is also organised.