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Feb 28, 2019

FM: Hungary and Malta fully grasp how severe the migration crisis is and what responses are needed

Following talks with Carmelo Abela, his Maltese counterpart, Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the two countries had agreed that decisions on services provided for migrants should be left in the hands of member states

The foreign minister has said that Hungary and Malta fully grasp how severe the migration crisis is and what responses are needed.

Following talks with Carmelo Abela, his Maltese counterpart, Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the two countries had agreed that decisions on services provided for migrants should be left in the hands of member states.

The minister said Malta and Hungary both view illegal border crossing as a crime rather than as an administrative matter and neither considers migration a fundamental human right.

Minister Szijjártó said both argue that illegal migration should be stopped as far from the borders of Europe as possible by helping where the trouble is.

Although they differ on the UN migration compact which Malta accepted and Hungary rejected, Malta also attached a declaration showing many similarities with the Hungarian stance to the UN pact, he said.

Minister Szijjártó noted that sea borders are much more difficult to protect than land borders. The “starting point” should be that the EU dispenses with its migration policy, which amounts to an invitation for migrants, inspiring masses to risk their lives to get to Europe, he said.

The minister said Malta and Hungary both view sovereignty as of paramount importance and are ready to settle any disputes with mutual respect. They cooperate within the UN, with Hungary supporting Malta’s aspirations to become a non-permanent member of the Security Council.