Budapest, October 21 (MTI) – An agreement is urgently needed between the transatlantic community and Russia in order to close the war in Syria and resolve the migrant crisis, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said after talks in Moscow on Wednesday.

Szijjarto told MTI that the migration crisis and the situation in Syria were in the focus of talks with counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

Syria is the main source of the current wave of migrants, Szijjarto said.

“Without a US-Russia agreement, a transatlantic-Russian agreement, there is no solution to the war in Syria and therefore no solution to the migration crisis affecting Europe,” he added.

Szijjarto said Hungary welcomed the decision of the US secretary of state and the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Russia and Turkey to meet in Vienna on Friday, arguing that the longer it takes to resolve the question of such an agreement, the more migrants will arrive in Europe, the minister said. He expressed hope that the meeting would have positive results and that as a result the end of the Syrian war becomes a “realistic possibility” in the short run.

Szijjarto said he and Lavrov agreed that the international coalition must up its game against the Islamic State militant group, since the more territories IS conquers, the more people will be forced to leave their homes and set off for Europe.

The ministers also agreed on the need to protect and strengthen Christian values in the Middle East. Szijjarto said he reiterated Hungary’s stance that broad political dialogue is needed to resolve the Syrian conflict, adding that the parties involved must first establish peace and stability, with the “fate of the current regime to be decided later”.

Szijjarto said he also held talks with Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova, who also co-heads the Hungarian-Russian economic mixed committee. The two agreed that they will not “overreact to the radical decline in bilateral trade turnover” since it does not depend on the two countries but rather on world politics.

Szijjarto said the EU sanctions against Russia “have been hard on Hungary”, noting that Russia was Hungary’s second largest trading partner in 2013, but only 13th in the first half of this year. The two ministers agreed on the importance of diversifying central Europe’s energy sources to ensure the region’s gas supply and energy security.

Photo: MTI


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