Szijjarto: V4 agree to help patrol Hungary border
Luxembourg, October 8 (MTI) – The Visegrad Four countries have agreed that the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland will help patrol Hungary’s southern border, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, said in Luxembourg on Thursday.
Speaking on the sidelines of conference on migration and the western Balkans route, Szijjarto argued that the migrant crisis is a global problem in need of a global solution. The minister criticised “several European leaders” who, he said, only talk about the importance of protecting the EU’s external borders but do not take any action to ensure it.
He said the EU was late in addressing the migration situation on the western Balkans route, adding that it would have been better prepared to handle the crisis had it noticed the problem earlier.
“All of Hungary’s warnings were in vain, as the EU chose to focus on the Mediterranean instead,” Szijjarto said, adding that there is still no solution in place for the western Balkans route.
Szijjarto said the EU is having to bear the heaviest burdens of the migrant crisis, which he said would increase for three reasons: the fight against the Islamic State militant group remains ineffective, as do efforts to stabilise the Middle East and north Africa, and because the western Balkan states are unable to stop the wave of migrants. The minister added, however, that the western Balkan states should not even be expected to be able to stop the migrants if the EU cannot either.
Szijjarto said the number of people arriving through the western Balkans is expected to grow significantly over the winter, since half of the migrants who arrived in Hungary last year entered the country in the fourth quarter. If the EU does not act quickly, millions of people will soon enter the continent, the minister said.
He said the EU’s external borders should be sealed off and that the bloc should pay for the refugee camps in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq. The EU must also provide emergency aid to these countries to care for refugees and prevent them from setting off for Europe. He said the EU should provide 300 million dollars in support for Kurdistan, since the economic situation of the region is deteriorating, and it will not be able to provide care for its 2 million refugees, who as a result will also leave for Europe.
On the topic of the EU’s mandatory refugee quotas, Szijjarto reiterated the Hungarian government’s stance that “forcing them onto” member states is “unacceptable” and “violates national sovereignty”.
The minister said he would have liked for the conference to take place in Budapest, adding, however, that the important thing is that the EU is discussing the crisis.