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Apr 07, 2020

Coronavirus Update: FM says national responses to epidemic are the most effective

The foreign minister said national responses to the novel coronavirus epidemic are the most effective, and coordination by Brussels has been pushed into the background.

The foreign minister said national responses to the novel coronavirus epidemic are the most effective, and coordination by Brussels has been pushed into the background.

In a speech in parliament this morning, Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, briefed lawmakers about recent NATO and EU foreign ministerial meetings, saying that decisions were being made on a national basis with national specifics and interests in mind.

The minister said the parliamentary session he was addressing was “living proof that the international fake news factory” had got it wrong, and Hungary’s parliament was indeed in session during the state of emergency.

According to MTI, the minister slammed western Europe for lecturing China about democracy while “queuing up” for Chinese health protection equipment. European policy on ties with Asia may have to be reassessed once the epidemic is over, he added.

Minister Szijjártó said NATO’s sights must stay firmly on fighting terrorism, given terrorism’s links to illegal migration, and he warned of “very serious health risks” in the case of uncontrolled migration, in addition to security and cultural risks.

The minister noted that Hungarian troops stationed in Afghanistan may now be used in other NATO operations given the US agreement with the Taliban. Hungary supports broadening NATO’s mission in Iraq and its troops are ready to contribute, he added.

Minister Szijjártó also noted that NATO’s medical center in Budapest had a big role in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic.

A call center set up for advice on the coronavirus can be reached on +36-80-277-455 and +36-80-277-456 or by email koronavirus@bm.gov.hu