Warsaw, July 9 (MTI) – Stabilising the southern neighbour countries is of vital importance to Hungary in order to curb the wave of migration, therefore, Hungary strives to contribute to stabilising the region, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó told MTI on the sidelines of the NATO summit meeting in Warsaw on Saturday.
Szijjártó said NATO is faced with major challenges not only from the east but also from the south. The southern challenges have a direct impact on Hungary’s security because “the biggest numbers of migrants arrive here from destabilised regions in the southern neighbourhood of Europe,” he said, adding that the situation in the south is one of the main causes of the migration pressure on Europe and Hungary.
This is why Hungary has decided to maintain its military presence in Afghanistan after 2016, Szijjártó said. There are currently 101 Hungarian troops serving in the country, he said.
Decision has also been taken to maintain Hungary’s financial contribution to the development of the security forces in Afghanistan, equalling 500,000 dollars a year, until 2020, he added. Hungary also takes part in training Jordanian and Iraqi soldiers to detect explosive devices, he said.
The foreign minister said they agreed with his Jordanian counterpart that the shared goal should be to keep refugees as close as possible to their homes and prevent them from travelling to Europe. Therefore, Hungary urges the European Union to provide funding to Jordan, which already provides for more than one million Syrian refugees, to establish industrial development zones where they can be employed while staying close to their home country, he said.
Szijjártó also said that the foreign ministers of the V4 group of countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia) held consultations on the sidelines of the NATO summit and agreed that the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union presents another major challenge to Europe, requiring even closer cooperation from Central European countries. They agreed to further improve the efficiency of the cooperation of the V4 group, mainly because Central European countries have important interests in the Brexit talks, which must be enforced, he said. These interests include keeping economic ties close with the United Kingdom and protecting the interests of Central Europeans working in Britain, he added.