The Italian and Hungarian governments’ policies on migration are identical on a multitude of points, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Thursday after meeting Italian counterpart Enzo Moavero Milanesi.
“The Hungarian government cooperates with everybody who seeks to stop illegal migration and prioritises border protection,” Szijjártó told MTI after his meeting.
Hungary maintains its standpoint that migrants should not be distributed among EU countries but should be prevented from coming to Europe.
The position of the new Italian government and the new Italian Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini, coincides with the Hungarian government’s in many ways, he said. “We agreed that the root causes [of migration] must be addressed … and entering Europe must be done according to European rules.”
Szijjártó said that
Milanesi had underlined Hungary’s view that border protection trumped all other issues in terms of managing the migration crisis, and that the EU should again assert its ability to protect its own borders.
Australia, he added, has already shown that maritime borders can be protected.
On the subject of a meeting on Friday in Brussels, where EU member states’ European affairs officials will hold talks on ports and ships carrying migrants, Szijjártó said it should be made clear that only those who can enter legitimately should be permitted to do so at European ports.
“No blackmail should be allowed either by smugglers or from pressure by so-called NGOs,” the Hungarian minister said.
Meanwhile, Szijjártó said he had discussed with his Italian counterpart Ukraine’s “unacceptable” behaviour towards national minorities. He urged the Italian government to support Hungary, which, through international forums, wants Ukraine to “fulfill its international obligations and hand back Hungarians their rights”.
On the topic of the Genova bridge collapse, Szijjártó told Milanesi that Hungary was ready to provide help in any phase of reconstruction by sharing its experience and technology.
Szijjártó is in Rome on the occasion of the annual seminar on the international network of Catholic legislators.