10/09/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/09/2020 01:39
'There are three highly major migrations risks around Europe today, and unfortunately we have the European Union to thank for all of them', Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared on Thursday in Bratislava.
Mr. Szijjártó made the statement at a working lunch attended by the foreign ministers of the Visegrád Group (V4) countries (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, at which Poland was represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk. Previously, the Hungarian minister held bilateral talks with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. The meeting concentrated on waves of migration, Mr. Szijjártó explained. According to his statement following the working lunch, Mr. Szijjártó said the first such risk was the Western Balkan dry land migration route, with relation to which he pointed out that the European Union promised Turkey 6 billion euros in funding, of which it has paid out less than four billion, whereas the full amount had been due by the end of 2018. He said this is providing Turkey with an unfortunate legal basis for possibly opening its gates towards Europe, and if it does so then the Western Balkan migration route could once again become full of hundreds and thousands of illegal immigrants, in view of the fact that there are currently four million asylum-seekers living on Turkish territory.
He highlighted the fact that the second major risk is the European Union's slowness with relation to Libya, explaining that in his opinion waves of migration arriving from the North African country could be prevented if we do not allow people-smuggling ships to set off from Libyan ports. 'In mid-2018, the V4 paid out 35 million euros to the European Commission, which since that time has been incapable of procuring a single boat', he added. 'And the third risk is the European Commission's New Pact on Migration itself, which is essentially yet another inspiration and encouragement for people who want to set out for Europe, in view of the fact that this document makes a pathetic linguistic attempt to not call a quota a quota, whereas it is absolutely obvious that it is aimed at resettlement and mandatory quotas', Mr. Szijjártó declared.
'Europe has itself and the Brussels institutions to thank for all three of these risks', the Minister declared. 'A wave of migration would represent a much greater danger to Europe now than it did in 2015, because in addition to the security and cultural risks a significant health risk also appears, in view of the fact that uncontrolled masses of people are capable of spreading the coronavirus at incredible speed', he emphasised. In reply to a question from a Hungarian journalist, Mr. Szijjártó said that there is agreement among the countries of the V4 with relation to migration. He added that there are certain points concerning which the Central Europeans represent a position that is close to that of the French, but with relation to migration there are more differences between the two standpoints. In reply to a question concerning his meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Mr. Szijjártó said that migration was also one of the most important topics of conversation during that meeting. He drew attention to the fact that the Turks are clearly offended by the fact that the European Union has not kept its word by not paying the promised six billion euros, explaining that this unfortunately provides the Turks with a justification for possibly ceasing to block migration processes along the Western Balkan route.
(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade / MTI)