Azbej Tristan, Minister of State at the Prime Minister’s Office, travelled to Egypt for a three-day visit between 1 and 4 December in order to express in person Hungary’s support for the North African country’s efforts in fighting terrorism and curbing migration, as well as to hand over the Hungarian state and private donations with which Hungarian donors wish to help the family members of victims of the November El Minya bus attack.

One month before the visit, terrorists of the organisation Islamic State attacked a Coptic Christian pilgrimage bus in Egypt’s Minya Governorate situated 250 kilometres from Cairo. Seven people were killed and fourteen were injured in the attack. During the meeting with the families of the victims, the head of the Hungary Helps Programme said that while the Hungarian donation cannot bring lost family members back, it seeks to indicate that the Hungarian people sympathise with Coptic Christians and other victims of terrorism. Representatives of the mourning community said it gives them strength that people in Europe, too, care about them, and that there are some Christian countries left which are not indifferent about their suffering.

Azbej Tristan, together with Ambassador Péter Kveck, visited Maggie Gobran, a Coptic Orthodox lady who was earlier nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and who works as a missionary among the Egyptian capital’s poor children. The Minister of State enquired about the situation of Christians in Egypt, paid his respects at the memorial of Coptic martyrs, and expressed Hungary’s appreciation for the efforts the Egyptian government is making in the interest of protecting Christians and other citizens, fighting terrorism and curbing migration.

The solidarity visit confirms the position of the Hungarian government that help must be taken where there is trouble, rather than bringing trouble here. Therefore, as part of the Hungary Helps Programme, Hungary provides financial aid for Christians threatened by radicals and contributes to preventing migration by providing assistance.

(Prime Minister’s Office)