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Jul 12, 2017

Europe must come together to fight terrorism, says foreign minister

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said eastern and western Europe should “put aside political correctness and hypocrisy” and work together in countering the threat of terrorism for the sake of protecting the continent

Hungary's foreign minister has said that its about time Europe comes together to protect the continent against terrorism.

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said eastern and western Europe should “put aside political correctness and hypocrisy” and work together in countering the threat of terrorism for the sake of protecting the continent.

Minister Szijjártó made the remarks after a meeting of OSCE foreign ministers in Mauerbach, near Vienna, on Tuesday.

The minister told MTI that Europe is facing the biggest terrorist threat of all time as a result of many mistakes made in European politics.

“The gravest of these is that 1.5 million people have arrived on the continent unchecked and unidentified as a result of a hypocritical and flawed migration policy,” the minister said.

Minister Szijjártó noted that the 15 major terrorist attacks committed in Europe since the Paris attacks in November 2015 have killed 315 people and injured more than 1,000.

“It’s time for the European institutions in Brussels to start focusing on the real issues and dealing with the real problems and start to act on the threat of terrorism,” the minister said.

The minister said that of the 11,000 foreign fighters fighting for the IS terrorist group, 2,500 are EU citizens. “With IS losing ground it is realistic that these people will return to Europe, which will mean a new kind of threat for the continent," Minister Szijjártó said. Europe must therefore do everything it can to protect itself, he added.

Minister Szijjártó also held bilateral talks with Igor Crnadak, foreign minister of Bosnia-Herzegovina, on the sidelines of the event, and voiced his support for that country’s European and NATO integration.

The minister added that Bosnia-Herzegovina played a crucial role in maintaining stability in the Western Balkans, an important aspect in terms of Hungary’s national security. “Since Bosnia is one of the most important supporters of NATO operations outside NATO members, they deserve promotion in the process of their NATO integration,” Minister Szijjártó said.

The minister also signed a cooperation agreement with his Kyrgyz counterpart Erlan Abdildajev to set up a mixed economic committee for the two countries. Hungary’s Eximbank has provided 34 million EUR to provide loans to Hungarian businesses active on the Kyrgyz market.