“The global pandemic caused by the coronavirus is leading to new waves of migration, and for this reason reinforcing the protection of the external borders and eliminating all eternal reasons that are increasing or could increase migration pressure on the EU must be among the European Union’s most important tasks”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared on his Facebook page in a statement to report on Monday’s meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

“The epidemic is having major healthcare, economic and security consequences, which bear with them further dangers for the European Union and the countries of Europe”, Mr. Szijjártó stated. “These problems must be handled as a priority, and accordingly it would be good if instead of encouraging migration the European Union were instead occupied with the real problems of the European people”, he underlined.

Touching on the central topics of the session of the Foreign Affairs Council, he underlined: “All EU efforts thus far have failed with relation to the Middle East Peace Process”. He declared that an opportunity must be given to the peace plan for resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict put forward by the United States at the end of January, because in his view it is the best basis for negotiation to date, and has the best chance of being realised. “Hungary opposes all EU statements that reduce the chances of realisation of the American plan, all hurried forming of opinions that could lead to a slowing of the Middle East Peace Process, and all European statements that criticise the Israeli government based on perceived or real intentions”, he underlined.
With relation to Turkey, the Minister said: “The European Union should apply a strategic approach, and should accept the fact that by concluding the migration agreement with Ankara in the autumn of 2016, it placed the security of Europe in the hands of Turkey”. As he pointed out, in the agreement the European Union undertook to pay 6 billion euros, but is yet to transfer the full amount. “Hungary is calling for the EU to develop an equitable and honest position with relation to Turkey, and to pay out the agreed sum as soon as possible. A reluctance to do so could lead to Turkey reopening its borders in the direction of Europe, and in view of the fact that there are some 4 million migrants on its territory, this is a very dangerous game”, he warned.

Mr. Szijjártó also pointed out that the migration agreement concluded in 2000 between the European Union and 79 pacific Ocean, Caribbean and African countries, which regulates travel into the EU by people from these countries for employment purposes, has in recent years become one of the documents that aims to legalise illegal immigration. With relation to the agreement, which expires this year, Mr. Szijjártó said: “Twenty years have passed, and a new situation has come about, and accordingly the European Union must rethink its plans to extend the treaty”. “Because millions of European have lost their jobs as a result of the virus pandemic, and accordingly the task of European institutions is to find a solution for the situation of the European people, instead of admitting migrants from outside with the alleged intent of solving labour shortages”, he stated. “We have asked the European institutions not to attempt to legalise this illegal migration. They must not attempt to bring migrants into Europe instead of helping European who have lost their jobs”, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter added.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade / MTI)