Spain’s example demonstrates that illegal migration should be halted not only on land but at sea, too, Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s minister of foreign affairs and trade, said after talks with Santiago Abascal, leader of the Spanish right-wing VOX party, in Madrid on Thursday.
The minister noted that Spain has been exposed to strong migratory pressure over the past few years, with a 50 percent rise registered in the number of Africans arriving illegally in the country this year. For this reason, there is a pressing need to mobilise resources to stop migration through maritime routes, he said.
The best way to do so is to prevent illegal migrants from boarding ships heading for Europe, Szijjártó said. For this reason, European nations have a vested interest in cooperating with the north African countries and helping them retain their stability, he said.
“Defending borders, identifying terrorists among the migrants and tough action against human smugglers are priorities for Europe,” he said. Szijjártó praised the “increasingly robust” development of bilateral economic relations. Two-way trade, he noted, increased by 20 percent in 2021 and is expected to reach 5 billion euros by the end of the year.
Later today, Szijjártó is scheduled to meet his Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Alvarez.