Péter Szijjártó, who has been nominated to continue as Hungary’s foreign minister, highlighted new security challenges for Hungary and the region, and said that a possible increase in migration could lead to another crisis.
Speaking before parliament’s national security committee on Tuesday, Szijjártó said that some 30-35 million people in North Africa and the Middle East “could decide to leave” for Europe, while several more million in the Sub-Saharan region could also set off.
On another subject, Szijjártó called it “unacceptable” that the European Union set 2025 as the target date for Serbia’s and Montenegro’s accession.
He urged that the process of Euro-Atlantic integration should be accelerated and all chapters of the negotiations should be opened with those two countries.
In the new government, the foreign ministry will also overview the areas of international energy talks, space research, and cross-border investment projects, Szijjártó said. Concerning energy, he called diversification crucial and criticised Romania and Croatia, which he said had failed to complete facilities through which “they could also supply gas to Hungary”.
Szijjártó referred to the situation of ethnic Hungarians as a special challenge. He mentioned Ukraine, and said that Hungary would maintain its veto against a NATO-Ukraine summit unless Ukraine provides legal guarantees to drop its laws violating the rights of its Hungarian community.
In another interview, with the national cohesion committee, Szijjártó said that promoting the interests of ethnic Hungarians will stay one of the main focuses of Hungary’s diplomacy.
The Hungarian government will “consider Hungarian interests only, regardless of any international pressure”, and will apply all political means to protect Hungarian communities, Szijjártó said. The government will also reject “offensive and unfair” accusations that the government’s cross-border policies are “controlled by a third party”, he added. He insisted that Ukraine has launched an international “campaign of lies” suggesting that Hungary protects Transcarpathia Hungarians on instructions from Russia, Szijjártó said.
Concerning ties with Slovakia, Szijjártó said that “bridges are being built”. He highlighted progress in issues concerning Slovakia Hungarians, but added that “it is slower than we would like”. He praised Slovakia for allowing the use of Hungarian in law courts, and for putting up Hungarian place names at railway stations, as well as its support for small Hungarian courts.
Both committees supported Szijjártó’s nomination for the post.
Featured image: MTI