Budapest (MTI) – Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó has sent a letter of protest to Thorbjorn Jagland, General Secretary of the Council of Europe, over criticism of Hungary’s migration policy by the Council’s human rights commissioner.
In an article published in the online version of The New York Times on Wednesday, Muiznieks said that at the recent European Union summit in Bratislava, Hungary was among countries “most hostile to the European Union proposals on migration”. Muiznieks added that despite criticism of his policies, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had “shrugged off this criticism and pushed ahead with an agenda that can be described only as institutionalized xenophobia.”
Szijjártó reacted to the article saying on Thursday that “with his astonishing lies” Muiznieks was criticising a country which observes all international regulations. He said it was clear that “Muiznieks and his allies are calling for the violation of international laws and national borders, which would lead to chaos and anarchy.”
Szijjártó has written a letter to the General Secretary of the Council of Europe over the criticism.
“Our position is well-known and we reject such unfounded criticism in all respects” he said, adding that the commissioner was condemning a country that … aims to protect its borders and other EU member states while observing international rules “in order to avoid an uncontrollable situation”.
The foreign minister said it is especially unfortunate that the commissioner “drew a parallel” between the current migration wave and the refugees of the 1956 anti-Soviet uprising. He said the refugees of 1956 had waited patiently in neighbouring countries for countries to take them in, fully respecting the laws of their eventual host countries.
Szijjártó said he was confident that this view was not shared by others in the community of the Council of Europe. The Hungarian government remains committed to a policy based on cooperation and professional guidelines as part of an intergovernmental dialogue, he said in the letter.