Foreign minister: UN migration package ‘dangerous’
The UN global compact for migration is “an unbalanced and dangerous document” as it will galvanise migratory processes that already pose a threat to Europe, Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s foreign minister, said in Brussels on Monday.
Speaking to Hungarian journalists on the sidelines of a meeting of EU foreign ministers, Szijjártó said that every document and every international decision-making body that incites the migration process is in conflict with European security interests.
The minister said the possibility that Hungary may quit the UN talks — similarly to the US — had cropped up but it had decided in the end to see them through so as to submit proposals.
He said it had become clear that African and Latin American countries — several of which are countries of origin for migration — had strongly influenced the document’s shaping and it would be futile to advance any other proposal or amendment initiative.
Szijjártó added that Hungary may boycott further stages of the document’s approval.
Cooperation with Latin American countries is good in most areas within the UN but there is a basic difference in opinion when it comes to assessing migration, he said. During the talks, Hungary once again made it clear that it would not participate in any form of migrant redistribution, he added.
“Hungary can make itself available only if the talks focus on ways to keep migrants outside the EU or to send them back,” Szijjártó said.
The key issue of how the EU can reduce migration pressure from Libya remains hanging, he said, adding that this would require protecting the southern borders of Libya and preventing human smuggling networks from “using the country as a passageway”.
Also, migrants in the north should be prevented from undertaking the life-threatening journey by sea, Szijjártó added.
The minister called it an important new development that Italy had made it clear that “boats filled with illegal migrants” paid by civil organisations are prohibited from using their ports.
Meanwhile, the Visegrád Group of countries has offered 35 million euros to help protect the southern borders of Libya, he said.
On another subject, he said Ukraine had gravely breached one of Europe’s most guarded values and laws when it comes to the protection of minorities.
Szijjártó insisted that Ukraine was neglecting its international commitments as well as its NATO roadmap and its EU Association Agreement.
“Hungary finds it unacceptable that, all this notwithstanding, Kiev expects to carry on in the same way towards European integration,” he said.
Based on the fact that the Ukrainian government has been unable to get parliament vote about this issue over eight months, it is difficult to decide whether the government has a true dedication to meeting the requirements of EU integration, he said.
Hungary confirms its position that it will not support Ukraine’s EU and Euro-Atlantic integration until the country’s education law is amended in line with EU requirements, he added.
Featured image: MTI