Athens, October 30 (MTI) – As long as Europe fails to protect Greece’s southern borders, it will be “defenceless” against migrants, the Hungarian foreign minister said after talks with his Greek counterpart in Athens on Friday.
Peter Szijjarto told MTI by phone that migrants were continuing to cross Greece’s borders, which “renders all of Europe defenceless”. The minister said this was a “serious security risk for the EU and Hungary, since nobody knows who the people entering the inner areas of Europe are, where they come from … or for what purpose they have come.”
Szijjarto said he and Nikos Kotzias agreed that the migrant crisis is a “complex challenge” for Europe and one that requires a “complex solution”. This means that the problem must be tackled at its roots, meaning that peace needs to be established in Syria and the political situation needs to be stabilised in Libya, Szijjarto said.
He said they also agreed that the EU must provide aid to the refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq.
Szijjarto said “western politicians” also need to stop making remarks that “people wishing to migrate to Europe could interpret as invitation”.
The minister reiterated Hungary’s position that a “complex solution” is only possible if first the EU’s external border gets protected in Greece, adding however that Greece is “unwilling to allow international forces to enter its own territory”. He said the Visegrad Four countries had demonstrated that it is possible to preserve national sovereignty while protecting one’s borders through international cooperation.
The ministers agreed to meet again at next week’s meeting of European and Asian foreign ministers in Luxembourg, and continue their discussion about energy issues. Szijjarto said that central Europe’s gas supply was not secure after the EU and the US dropped plans for the South Stream pipeline and agreed on expanding the Nord Stream pipeline. If Russia ever decides to cut off gas supply to Europe via Ukraine, Hungary will have to find new supply routes, Szijjarto said.