Addis Ababa, April 12 (MTI) – It lies in the interest of Hungary and the European Union that the over 820,000 immigrants and refugees who found safe haven in Ethiopia should live amidst organised and humane conditions and should be prevented from setting off for Europe, Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s foreign minister, said in Addis Ababa on Tuesday.
This is why Hungary supported an EU grant to Ethiopia of 745 million euros from the European Development Fund and 1.4 billion euros worth of humanitarian aid, mainly food staples, he told MTI over the phone.
Szijjártó noted that the strong presence of the al-Shabaab jihadist terrorist group in the region could also encourage emigration from Ethiopia. The more attacks they commit to intimidate people, the more migrants will set off for Europe, he said, adding that for this reason, Ethiopia and Europe should cooperate in fighting against extremist Islamic forces and terrorism.
Szijjártó noted that Hungary, acknowledging Ethiopia’s growing regional role, had reopened its Addis Ababa embassy earlier this year.
Among promising fields of economic cooperation, he mentioned possible Hungarian involvement in upgrading Addis Ababa’s public transport, in water management, the pharmaceutical industry, electronic data registration systems and in constructing a road toll system.
To enhance the competitiveness of Hungarian products and services, Eximbank opened a 28 million dollar credit line for Hungarian companies appearing on the Ethiopian market, he said.
Hungary has offered 30 scholarships to Ethiopian students from September on, he said.
Szijjártó, the first Hungarian foreign minister ever to visit Ethiopia, met President Mulatu Teshome and Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom.