Speaking at a press conference following talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki and Slovakian PM Eduard Heger, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that while Hungary has been experiencing at its borders the increasing migration pressure from the direction of the Balkans, “we are surrounded” in a sense that migration from Africa has been intensifying as well. According to PM Orbán, Europe will not be able to cope with the upcoming wave of immigrants unless it finds strong external allies.
“Egypt is one of our obvious allies,” the prime minister said, adding that a strong Egypt is in the European Union’s existential interest. If Egypt cannot continue its policy of tackling migration, “we will all be in great trouble,” PM Orbán said. It’s not only about strengthening Egypt’s border control, he continued, but also about stabilizing and developing the country economically.
Prime Minister Orbán urged the EU to convene a meeting of the EU-Egypt Association Council “as soon as possible,” and to accept Egypt as a strategic partner. “We must accept Egypt’s recommendations for stopping terrorism. We must accept as our own the list of terrorists and terrorist organization compiled by Egypt,” PM Orbán said.
“Since 2016, no ship carrying migrants has left Egypt’s coasts. This is proof that if there is a will, and there is leadership, migration at sea can be limited and stopped,” PM Orbán said, adding that sanctions that bar Egypt from procuring the necessary gear for border protection must be lifted.
Shifting the topic to economic cooperation, PM Orbán said that bilateral talks between Hungarian and Egyptian business representatives will take place during the afternoon. According to the prime minister, it’s an honor for Hungary to host the president of Egypt, as, for Hungary, this relationship is similar to one between old friends and siblings.