Hungarian foreign minister warns of growing instability in southern Europe
Luxembourg (MTI) – Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s foreign minister, has warned of increasing instability in the region to the south of the European Union, with “more and more escalating crises”, and he expressed dissatisfaction over a lack of success in international efforts to resolve them.
After a meeting of his European counterparts in Luxembourg on Monday, Szijjártó said instability in the south was a serious security risk for the EU, adding that the pressure of migration on Europe “could easily increase” in the future.
He said Syria had some 13.5 million people in need of humanitarian aid, while Yemen had a similar problem affecting 21.2 million. Mass migration in Libya is ramping up social and economic tensions, he said, noting that some 18,000 illegal migrants had been registered in Italy since the start of the year.
Szijjártó suggested that the EU should strike a deal with Libya under which the latter country would reinforce its borders to prevent tens of thousands of people from leaving and risking a perilous voyage to Europe. He also proposed setting up facilities in Libya to determine if migrants are entitled to refugee status.
Concerning Macedonia, Szijjártó said “external influences” had created an unstable situation there, leading to difficulties in forming an effective government. “Europe should give up its policy of intervention and allow Macedonians to make their own decisions,” he said.
The minister argued that European pressure on Macedonia’s runner-up and ethnic parties to form a government coalition without a mandate could lead to ethnic-based conflicts and aggravate the situation.
Meanwhile, Szijjártó said members of the EU were “more and more divided” over Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, insisting that creating peace in that country was a top priority and questions about Syria’s leadership in the future were of less importance. “It is not up to the international community to determine who should lead that country; the decision should be in the hands of Syrians,” the minister said.
Photo: Árpád Szabó