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Jan 21, 2020

FM: The EU must deal with instability in Africa to avoid migration pressure on Europe

Minister Szijjártó said migration from the Sahel region in Africa was putting Europe under heightened pressure.

The foreign minister has said the EU must deal with instability in Africa to avoid migration pressure on Europe.

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, highlighted the Sahel region which, similarly to the situation in Libya, could further increase pressure on Europe due to migration.

Minister Szijjártó said migration from the region was putting Europe under heightened pressure. Hungary’s policy of providing aid where it is needed instead of “importing problems” to Europe has concentrated on the region. This policy, he added, was already reaping dividends.

Referring to the EU military training mission aimed at reforming militaries in north Africa that maintain stability, Minister Szijjártó said Hungary supported the mission’s extension as part of its own policy of providing help where it is needed.

The minister said Hungary has tripled to 21 the number of soldiers that contribute to EU operations that boost stability and fight terrorism in the region. The minister added that the EU should focus on improving conditions in the countries of would-be migrants, in order to prevent their exodus, instead of redistributing migrants who are already in Europe.

During a break from a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, the foreign minister also said Hungary appreciates German efforts to quell tensions in Libya, noting that the Berlin initiative had brought the United States, Russia, China and the EU to the same table.

The minister told MTI that Hungary supports every effort to bring about a ceasefire and a political resolution to the conflict, adding that it was important to ward off any increase in migration that may accompany the resumption of the EU’s naval operation combatting human trafficking networks across the Mediterranean. The operation’s ships should not be used to transport migrants to Europe, he said.

Photo credit: hirado.hu