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Sep 05, 2017

Hungary's Foreign Minister in response to Angela Merkel: PM Orbán ordered the Hungarian authorities to uphold Schengen rules in all circumstances

Minister Szijjártó said it was an “honor” for Hungary that its efforts were mentioned during Germany's political debate and recognition that Germany was “finally aware of the efforts Hungary is making to fulfil its commitments to the bloc by protecting itself and Europe”

Hungary's foreign minister has commented on Angela Merkel's accusations that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán failed to show solidarity by refusing to help refugees in 2015.

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, revealed that the prime minister had ordered the Hungarian authorities to uphold Schengen rules in all circumstances.

Angela Merkel said that “Orbán took away the tickets from the refugees in Budapest and did not let the trains leave”. She added that behind her decision to accept the migrants was the fear that “Hungary won’t show solidarity in aiding the refugees”.

According to MTI, Minister Szijjártó said in response that “train tickets do not override European law,” and only those with valid travel documents had been allowed to leave Hungary westwards.

He added that the only exceptions were when the Austrian or German chancellors “expressed a different view on the issue … Their reasons in doing so are their own affairs.”  

The minister said that Hungary is providing aid to illegal migrants defined under international law. He added that in order to benefit, migrants would have to turn up at the “lawfully designated stations”.

Minister Szijjártó said it was an “honor” for Hungary that its efforts were mentioned during Germany's political debate and recognition that Germany was “finally aware of the efforts Hungary is making to fulfil its commitments to the bloc by protecting itself and Europe”. 

The minister said he expected Hungary to “be the subject of further discussions” because the country intended to carry on fulfilling its commitments.