As long as Europe’s security depends exclusively on the good will of Turkey, its borders will remain defenseless, Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s foreign minister, said on Monday.
He said Turkey had terminated its agreement with Greece to take back migrants.
“This goes to show how fragile the situation has become on Europe’s southern border,” Szijjártó told MTI by phone after attending a meeting of foreign ministers of the Central European Initiative in Split.
“If the EU-Turkish deal goes the same way as the Greek-Turkish agreement, a new wave of migrants can be expected on the Western Balkan route, and hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants may arrive on Hungary’s southern border in the blink of an eye”.
Szijjártó said the Western Balkans was the only remaining line of defence and Hungary’s fence “really works”.
He said “very alarming” developments were taking place to the south of Europe, adding that it was “clear” that Brussels had failed to build a southern line of defence over the past three and a half years.
“The danger is here and it is growing.”
Participants at the meeting agreed on the need for a common policy that does not encourage migrants to move to Europe. “Migration must be tackled at its root,” he said.
Countries of origin for migrants should cooperate more closely in order to put a stop to the outflow, he added.
He noted that the meeting’s agenda included European Union enlargement along with migration, but everyone was talking about the new migrant route in the Western Balkans.
At the one-day conference, Szijjártó held a bilateral meeting with Italian counterpart Enzo Moavero Milanesi and with Ivica Dacic, Serbia’s foreign minister.
The Central European Initiative is the region’s biggest non-institutionalised framework for interstate relations. Croatia is at the helm of the organisation this year. Heads of government meet once a year, while foreign ministers meet every six months.
Featured image: www.kormany.hu