The foreign minister said the European Union should seek an agreement with Africa on ways to convince the population to stay where they are rather than find ways to come to Europe.
During a break of a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, reiterated Hungary’s standpoint that the EU should help Africa create the right conditions for the population to stay in place. The minister complained, however, that the European Commission was currently in talks with 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries under the arrangements of the post-Cotonou negotiations about “what pro-migration deal to set up”.
“It is unacceptable to us that Brussels is ready to entertain yet more madness,” Minister Szijjártó said. “We see it as very much against European interests and we will continue to raise our voice against it.” He noted that in an effort to reduce migration pressure, Hungary has sent twenty soldiers to the EU mission in Mali, and will send 80 personnel to participate in the European military Takuba taskforce supporting the Malian army.
Additionally, the government has launched tied-aid loan programmes with three African countries totalling HUF 45 billion (EUR 120m), mainly in the area of water management, he said. Under the arrangements of the Hungary Helps programme, sixty projects costing HUF 4.5 billion have been carried out or are under way to help members of Christian communities stay in their homelands. Also, 1,400 Hungarian scholarships have been offered to students from 25 African countries, he said. Hungary’s support to six countries fighting Covid with the supply of HUF 1.5 million doses of vaccine also covers countries in Africa, he said.
Photo credit: Facebook/Szijjártó Péter