“Brussels policy that treats migration as given, and builds upon inspiring it, is dangerous to Europe”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared.
The Minister held talks with Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh Mohammed, following which at a joint press conference, he highlighted: “For the African countries to be capable of keeping their populations requires security and economic development in Africa”. “For this reason, Hungary does not agree with the Brussels standpoint according t which it must be accepted: migration is a necessary consequence of the situation in Africa and inspiring migration processes is the correct policy”, he explained. “In contrast, Hungary agrees with Eritrea, that id many people leave Africa, it will endanger the development of the continent’s countries”, he added.
“Africa must be helped to ensure that the people can stay there instead of coming to Europe” Mr. Szijjártó stated. “Eritrea has done much in the interests of the security and peace required to achieve this”, he said.
As he explained, in the interests of Eritrea’s economic development, Hungary supported plans for the EU to withdraw the sanctions against the African country, which duly happened last year. In addition, in the EU Human rights Council Hungary has made it clear that it acknowledges the steps that Eritrea has taken to guarantee human rights, he pointed out.
“Neither Hungary not Eritrea supported the UN Global Compact for Migration, which confuses migration with asylum”, the Foreign Minister noted. “The UN is attempting to bring back the Global Compact, which over 40 UN member states did not vote in favour of”, he added.
“Eritrea and Ethiopia were in conflict for many years, but have now embarked on the path of reconciliation, as a result of which a major step towards stability has been taken in the region”, Mr. Szijjártó said. “Africa’s stability is important from the perspective of European security, and accordingly Hungary has always supported the reconciliation process”, he added.
Prior to the press conference, the ministers concluded an intergovernmental economic and technical cooperation agreement, with relation to which Mr. Szijjártó said: The agreement opens up new opportunities for cooperation.
The Minister told the press that Hungary is providing ten scholarship placed for Eritrean students to attend Hungarian universities, in addition to which negotiations are ongoing on a tied aid programme, thanks to which a cancer diagnostics centre could be built in Eritrea.
The Eritrean Foreign Minister stressed that the Eritrean Government would like the population to stay at home, and accordingly it is not good if they are encouraged to come to Europe.
“The African countries have large populations and many resources, but they need investments”, he highlighted. “The countries of African and Europe can supplement each other, and their cooperation can be mutually advantageous”, he explained.
He said that in his opinion his county is in an important geopolitical position, which offers many opportunities for cooperation with other countries.
In reply to a question, Mr. Szijjártó also spoke about the fact that although they are trying to make people believe that migration pressure is over, the numbers indicate otherwise. “Migration pressure is here with us”, and for this reason cooperation between Africa and Europe is important, and this is why Hungary is open to negotiation with Eritrea, he pointed out. “Africans should not be encouraged to leave their homes, but must instead be given assistance to enable them to stay at home, and this is something on which we agree with Eritrea”, he stated.
In reply to a question on the upcoming European Parliament debate on Hungary, the Foreign Minister declared: We will not be participating in the “theatrical production organised by the Soros network”. ”Hopefully, as a result of the EP elections the anti-immigration forces will gain the majority, and then there will not be any events of this kind in the EP”, he said. He also said that hopefully a wage agreement between Audi’s management and workers will come about as soon as possible, but the Government has no role to play in this.
In reply to another question, the Hungarian Foreign Minister also stated: “Hungary is a dependable NATO member state, as also indicated by the roles it has undertaken in the organisation’s missions. “Anyone who calls into question Hungary’s commitment with relation to NATO does so with bad intentions”, he said.
“Hungary is in negotiation with the United States on modernising their defence cooperation agreement; this will take some time, but the parties are in continuous discussion”, he explained.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be visiting Central Europe in mid-February, and the details of the trip are still under discussion he noted. Mr Szijjártó told the press that the Slovakian presidency of the Visegrád Group (V4) has convened a V4 + Germany summit in Early February, which is justified in view of the fact that the V4 is Germany’s number one European partner, and accordingly it is important to regularly discuss economic and political issues.