“Not only is migration simply present, but it represents an increasingly serious threat”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in a video posted to his Facebook page on Thursday following a meeting with the head of the Office of the Prime Minister of Malta.

Mr. Szijjártó noted that there is less political debate about migration because of the coronavirus pandemic, despite the fact that according to the head of the Maltese Prime Minister’s Office more illegal migrants arrived in Malta during the first two months of this year than during the whole of last year. Their camps are full, and ships that are transporting the migrants close to their shores also represent a problem.

“They are seeing exponential growth: according to information there are 650 thousand people on the Libyan coast who are essentially waiting to leave Libya in the direction of Europe”, he stated. “Now it is the turn of the Maltese to feel the effects of the extremely hypocritical and harmful European migration policy against which we have been taking extremely firm action over the past five years”, the Hungarian Foreign Minister emphasised. “They will now also have to face the fact that they cannot count on states that are otherwise loudly and aggressively demanding the introduction of mandatory resettlement quotas”, he added.

According to Mr. Szijjártó, the two politicians agreed that Hungary’s approach according to which assistance must be taken to where there is trouble instead of bringing the trouble to somewhere where there is no problem, is correct. “In other words, the European political debate on whether migration should be managed or stopped must finally come to an end”, the Minister highlighted, adding that migration must be stopped. “And this requires the provision of assistance to the Libyan authorities to ensure that the migrants are unable to leave the country”, Mr. Szijjártó declared, adding that all this is particularly important in the current situation in view of the fact that so far migration has primarily posed a security and cultural challenge, but since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic it now also represents a health risk.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI)