New York, September 20 (MTI) – Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s foreign minister, held talks with counterparts on the migrant crisis and economic cooperation in New York on Monday.
Szijjártó met foreign ministers Julie Bishop of Australia, Gibran Bassil of Lebanon, Maria Angela Holguin Cuellar of Colombia and Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama of Fiji on the sidelines of a UN migration summit.
Concerning his talks with the Australian minister, Szijjártó said that both Hungary and Australia give priority to border protection and national sovereignty, and agree on the need to prevent migrants from abusing the law.
“Australia has tightened border control and its relevant laws, triggering base attacks and critical remarks similar to those Hungary is exposed to,” he said.
Szijjártó and the Lebanese foreign minister agreed that refugees should be helped to survive the hard times in countries and regions close to their homes before returning to their native lands as soon as possible.
They also agreed that the international community should grant more assistance to Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and the autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan, which play the lion’s share in mitigating the migrant crisis.
Szijjártó noted that Hungary had contributed 3 million euros to the Madad Fund set up by the European Union to ease the plight of refugees in Syria and its neighbourhood.
At bilateral talks with Fiji’s prime minister and foreign minister, Szijjártó discussed economic issues and strengthening cooperation between the Pacific region and the European Union.
Szijjártó and his Colombian counterpart discussed new opportunities arising from Colombia’s economic diversification.
“The free trade agreement between the EU, Colombia and Peru open up new opportunities for the Hungarian economy as well,” Szijjártó told MTI.
Szijjártó agreed with Cuellar on reopening Hungary’s embassy in Bogota in the summer of 2017.