The foreign minister has said that in view of its growing security challenges, Europe should value partners such as Egypt, as they are capable of preventing an escalation.
Following talks with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry in Cairo, Péter Szijjártó said that with the Ukraine-Russia conflict and growing migration pressure on its doorstep, conflicts and security challenges are escalating in and around Europe. Egypt has been a stalwart ally and a stabilizing force in the past years, and closed its maritime borders to illegal migrants, he said. He thanked Egypt for its help, and called on the European Union to support financially the country’s fight against migration. “We call on the European Commission not to tie financial aid for Egyptian border protection to artificially created conditions,” he said. “In the present security situation, we have to value our allies more. We cannot be picky,” he said.
Minister Szijjártó also praised the “thriving” Egyptian-Hungarian economic cooperation, with trade volume hitting a record 400 million US dollars last year. Hungarian exports were at 300 million dollars, he added. Hungary has delivered 76 railway cars to Egypt, with another 600 due until September 2023, he said. It has also exported fodder and implemented water management technologies there, he said. In a HUF 2 billion (EUR 5.6m) investment, a Hungarian company was building water pumps to ensure water supply on the Shinai peninsula, he said. Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air flew 25,000 passengers to Egypt from Hungary last year, despite pandemic-related restrictions, he noted.
Shoukry praised the close diplomatic ties between Hungary and Egypt, and said the intent to further strengthen them was mutual. He also thanked Hungary for “regularly representing Egypt’s stance in the European Union”.
Photo credit: Facebook/Szijjártó Péter