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Oct 02, 2017

Hungary's FM: We think illegal migration is a security threat to Europe

Hungary's foreign minister has appeared on Al Jazeera television defending the country's position on the migrant crisis

Hungary's foreign minister has appeared on Al Jazeera television defending the country's position on the migrant crisis.

"We think illegal migration is a security threat to Europe," Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said.

"We don't think it's acceptable. But that should not give the reason to anyone to question whether Hungary respects European values or not because we have been members of the European Union ... We share the European regulations, and we share the European values, of course," he tells Al Jazeera.

"Hungary has always fulfilled all the obligations we have on an international level. When the migrants came to Hungary, we have offered them the supply and treatment which is written in the international contracts and regulations. But those people were not ready to go to refugee camps, those people occupied public areas, those people blocked the highways, those people occupied the railway stations ... They refused to cooperate with the local authorities, they refused to go to the refugee camps, and they have violated very important European regulations," he added.

Minister Szijjártó called illegal immigration a "bad phenomenon" and believes the migrant issue is to blame for the security threat facing Europe.

"The security situation has never been that bad in Europe than currently in modern history and the threat of terror has never been that serious as it is currently, and this is a direct consequence of the fact that 1.5 illegal migrants were allowed to come to Europe without any kind of control, regulation or check. And with this, I don't say that those 1.5 million are terrorists - of course, I don't say that - but I say such a big, illegal massive influx of people gave the opportunity for terrorist organizations to send their fighters, their terrorists to come to Europe," he said.

"Our position is that we should not encourage more people to take the life hazard, life risk to come to Europe, but we should help them to stay as close to their homes as possible. That's why our initiative has always been to give more financial aid to Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, the Kurdish region of Iraq because these entities have been taking care of many refugees," the minister added.

Watch the full interview here.