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Hungarian FM Peter Szijjarto: Epidemics and migration form a vicious cycle

Together, epidemics and migration form a vicious cycle. As the epidemic rears its head in more places, more people tend to leave, and the more people uproot themselves the bigger the danger that the epidemic will spread further, Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in Luxembourg at the one-day meeting of EU foreign ministers, on Monday.

Speaking to Hungarian journalists during the meeting’s recess, FM Peter Szijjarto said it was clearly visible that the world was facing the outburst of a new migration wave, because every process that has contributed to the migratory waves experienced of late has further intensified.

“We only have one task, and that is to protect our citizens against the dangers of the anticipated new migratory waves. We must make use of every possible tool in order to stop the migratory processes,” Hungary’s foreign minister said.

Mr Szijjarto underlined that the pandemic’s economic effects also play a part in strengthening migration. The armed conflicts cropping up at various places are not heading towards a solution, but we can also expect a new migration wave because NATO’s exit from Afghanistan will increase terrorism threat levels, and also because of Brussels’ pro-migration policies, he said.

“It is clear that nothing is enough to make the bureaucrats in Brussels recognise the fact that migration carries serious risks”, he said.

Citing an example, Mr Szijjarto said health authorities have identified the Delta variant of the coronavirus – originating from India – in many illegal migrants who have reached Italy.

He said it was urgent to convince Brussels to change its pro-migration policy, and to ensure that NATO’s troop withdrawal from Afghanistan will not result in the deterioration of the country’s internal security, which could trigger new migratory waves. He pointed out that, according to intelligence reports, the withdrawal of international troops will create security risks in Afghanistan that could prompt hundreds of thousands, or millions, to decide that they wish to leave. Therefore, given the routes from Afghanistan to Europe, Hungary believes that the most urgent task is to reach a new and strong agreement with Turkey to halt any potential surge in migration.

Regarding the issue of migration, FM Szijjarto also noted that the European Union is preparing to conclude a migration agreement with 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific states. In this context, he stressed that Hungary has made it clear that “it will not set its name to an agreement” that will put new migratory pressure on the European Union. Hungary can only support the agreement if it is not about migration, but about trade and economic co-operation,” he stressed.

“Hungary can only vouch for the personal safety of all of its citizens if it can protect them physically,” he stated.

Every effort must be made to ensure that the threat of migration stops as far away as possible from the Hungarian border, he said. However, if migratory flows should still reach Hungary’s border, they must be stopped there. Hungary is prepared for this, and it will not allow any illegal migrants to enter, as it entails a significant health risk besides the economic and cultural risks, Peter Szijjarto added.

By: V4 Agency

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