Brussels, July 18 (MTI) – Europe has proved to be “defenceless in many ways” and so the paramount task is to protect the bloc, Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s foreign minister, said in Brussels on Monday.
Speaking at a meeting of his European counterparts, Szijjártó said the risk of terrorism in the European Union has never been as high as it is today.
The root cause of terrorism must be treated and the facts must be faced honestly. One fact is that the EU has been unable to keep radicalism outside of its borders.
The global fight against terrorism should be intensified, Szijjártó said, noting that Hungary is one of the 23 nations that deployed soldiers against the Islamic State terrorist organisation. The 123-strong Hungarian contingent stationed in Kurdistan will be reinforced by 150 soldiers by the end of the year and its scope of activities extended to training, too, he said.
Hungary and Europe as a whole have an interest in the Turkish government taking full control of the situation, Szijjártó said. It would carry a huge risk if Turkey, the second biggest NATO force and the EU’s main political partner in migration affairs, were not governed by democratically elected power-holders, he added.
“The most important thing Turkey needs three days after the coup aimed at toppling its constitutional order is solidarity. Any effort to help it from outside will only hinder the process of settlement,” he said.
Concerning the meeting, Szijjártó said the EU wants to cooperate with the nations that are sources of migration or lie along the transit routes.
The ministers agreed that “development funds financed from European taxpayers’ money should only be made available to nations that take steps to ensure against being sources of migration or transit countries,” he said.
Hungary insisted that the EU should develop closer ties with Iraqi Kurdistan, in addition to Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, Szijjártó said.
Szijjártó: Hungary fully aiding Serbia’s EU accession efforts
Hungary is providing Serbia with every possible assistance in support of its efforts to join the European Union, Péter Szijjártó, the foreign minister, told MTI on Monday, adding that he finds any attempt to block the country’s EU membership to be “unacceptable”.
On the sidelines of a meeting of EU foreign ministers, Szijjártó said that the fastest route towards stabilisation of the western Balkans was via the continued integration of the region’s countries into NATO and the EU. It is in Hungary’s interest that countries of the western Balkans progress as quickly as possible in their accession endeavours.
Stabilising the region is in Hungary’s national-security and national-strategic interest, he said.
“If all our neighbours had established such ties with their ethnic Hungarian communities, there would be fewer problems in the Carpathian Basin,” he said.
Szijjártó noted that EU ministers and their counterparts from the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — would meet in Brussels later in the day. He said the parties concerned should develop cooperation, especially when it comes to handling the migration crisis and supporting Jordan, Lebanon and Iraqi Kurdistan, which have provided safe haven to millions of refugees. They should also step up efforts against the Islamic State terrorist organisation, he said.
Photo: MTI/EPA/Laurent Dubrule