The foreign minister said the European Union should transfer all the support promised to Turkey without delay for looking after migrants staying there because Ankara has a highlighted role in protecting the continent.
After a Turkey-Visegrad Group foreign ministers’ meeting on Tuesday, Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Europe was under unprecedented attack from three directions which is expected to strengthen in the future. One of the reasons he cited was the situation in Afghanistan. He said that following the failure of international intervention there, food supplies were in danger for some 23 million people in the country and the number of internal refugees had reached four million.
In order to prevent further migratory waves, the publication of statements and plans that encourage migration should be prevented and close partnership should be developed with countries on the route of migrants, he said. In terms of the latter effort, Turkey plays a key role in the protection of Europe, he added. “The protection of Hungary’s southern borders starts in Turkey and with Turkey,” he said. As a result, Minister Szijjártó called on the EU to transfer the entire sum of 6 billion euros which had been promised to Ankara, especially considering that the Turkish government has already spent 40 billion dollars on looking after migrants staying in the country, the ministry said.
Additionally, he said the bloc should support Turkey’s border protection efforts in order to prevent a further increase in migratory pressure. Minister Szijjártó said the Hungarian government was strongly against the EU’s plan to sign the Post-Cotonou agreement with 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific States which he described as “the little brother of the UN Global Compact for Migration”. Instead of finding ways for Africans to come to Europe, the EU should agree with Africa on how Africans can be convinced to stay in their place of birth, he said.
Photo credit: MTI