Hungary and Italy share the same views on the protection of European borders, and about how to prevent masses of people, terrorists and unwelcome individuals from entering the territory of the European Union, Minister of Interior Sándor Pintér said on Thursday at a press conference held in Budapest after he had official talks with his Italian counterpart Matteo Salvini.

The Hungarian Minister expressed his gratitude for the efforts Italy is making for ensuring that “uninvited guests” avoid the EU’s external borders. He congratulated the Italian people on their achievement; as he said, they have prevented unwelcome individuals from arriving in the EU by sea.

Italy is making these efforts not only in its own best interests, but equally in the best interests of all EU Member States, including Hungary, Mr Pintér said.

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The Interior Minister pointed out that those arriving uninvited should not be distributed; instead, they should be prevented from reaching the EU.

He said we must provide help for “third countries” with screening those coming in the direction of the EU. This is why the Visegrád Four (Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia) have made significant efforts in Libya, as well as in the Western Balkans where they support the border guarding measures of neighbouring states, he added.

Mr Pintér stressed that they will continue cooperation which, it is to be hoped, will be successful: instead of distributing unwelcome individuals, we must prevent them from arriving in the EU.

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Matteo Salvini said they had paid an interesting visit to the border crossing station at Röszke. He expressed his appreciation to the Hungarian government for having promptly and effectively taken control of a border section of the length of almost six hundred kilometres, thereby having succeeded in stopping people smuggling and human trafficking.

He confirmed that the positions of the Hungarian and Italian governments on this issue are fully identical: they expect that from 27 May “a new Europe” will protect its external borders both by land and sea.

The Italian Minister, too, took the view that the problem is not the re-distribution of migrants already in the EU, but the way in which to avoid the arrival of new ones.

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Their positions regarding the issue of the repatriation of immigrants are also identical: there is a common struggle “in the new Europe” in order to review all trade and financial agreements with countries outside the EU which fail to facilitate the repatriation of their nationals, said Mr Salvini.

The Italian Interior Minister thanked the Hungarian government for its economic support provided in Libya. If more European countries took such a serious stance regarding the prevention of people smuggling, then the continent would face fewer crimes and problems, Mr Salvini stated.

(MTI ;