Hungary does not discriminate between people based on religion, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in an interview broadcast on CNN on Friday.
He recalled that Hungary was hit by a wave of migration in 2015: some 400,000 people crossed the border and did not comply with regulations, instilling fear in Hungarians. This is why the government had to take steps to protect Hungary’s southern border, he said.
Szijjártó – who is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly – reiterated Hungary’s stand that the decision on the mandatory relocation of refugees among European Union member states was a dangerous and bad decision for the European Union.
He said a recent ruling by the European Court did not say that Hungary must immediately take in migrants, rather the ruling had to do with the process and procedure related to the refugee quotas.
Answering a question about Hungary’s EU membership, Szijjártó said the country’s membership comes with advantages, but added that the EU also enjoys benefits of having Hungary among its members.
Hungary wants a fair distribution of the burden, he stressed, noting that Hungary had spent 800 million euros on protecting its southern border to defend all of Europe and the Schengen area.
He complained that many European leaders fail to place sufficient emphasis on ensuring the security of the continent.
Szijjártó also spoke about the challenges facing Central Europe in his address before the UN General Assembly earlier. Among them, he named illegal migration and the growing threat of terrorism in Europe, the necessity of establishing a more balanced cooperation between East and West, and the protection of the rights of ethnic minorities.
Featured image: MTI