FM: Hungary to launch cooperation scheme with Chad to tackle migration

The foreign minister said the world has entered “an era of dangers”, with many of the crises linked to terrorism, which is connected to mass illegal migration waves.

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Hungary is launching a comprehensive cooperation scheme with Chad with a view to boosting the security and stability of the Sahel, developing the economy and managing the root causes of migration.

Minister Szijjártó told a joint press conference held with his counterpart Mahamat Saleh Annadif that the world has entered “an era of dangers”, with many of the crises linked to terrorism, which is connected to mass illegal migration waves. Terrorism and migration, he added, formed a “vicious circle”, arguing that the former was a root cause of the latter and migration waves could be infiltrated by potential terrorists. “That’s why one of the constant grave threats faced by the European Union is that mass illegal migration waves will become even more severe,” Minister Szijjártó said. He said terrorism posed an even greater threat in Africa, while the continent’s rapid population growth posed serious economic challenges. He noted that Africa’s population was projected to grow by 750 million over the next 20 years. “This means that the main question from a European point of view is whether we Europeans can give Africa the help it needs to successfully confront the increasingly serious terrorist threat and whether African countries can develop their economies to such an extent that they can keep this rapidly growing population on the continent,” the minister said.

Minister Szijjártó said the Sahel was among Africa’s most troubled regions and a source of the migration waves to Europe. “And we must also see that if Brussels doesn’t change its pro-migration policy, it will mean big trouble for both the Sahel and Europe,” he added. He hailed Chad’s “exceptional stability”, noting that the Sahel country was prepared to intensify cooperation with the EU and was making major efforts against terrorism. Hungary and Chad have therefore decided to launch a comprehensive cooperation programme aimed at promoting the Sahel region’s stability and curbing migration waves, Minister Szijjártó said. The aim, he added, was to improve the security situation in Chad and the Sahel, and to contribute to economic growth to be able to manage the root causes of migration as effectively as possible. Hungary will open a diplomatic mission in N’Djamena with a charge d’affaires taking up the post in mid-March, the minister said, noting the operation of a regional development and humanitarian aid centre which was opened in the capital city of Chad in January. Hungary has already provided 500 million forints (EUR 1.3m) of assistance to help develop Chad’s refugee care system and has dispatched medical teams and sent medicines in aid to help improve the country’s healthcare services, he said, noting the contribution of additional funding worth 600 million forints to agriculture development programmes. Talks are ongoing on launching a 150 million dollar tied-aid programme to promote Hungarian water management companies’ participation in the modernisation of Chad’s water management industry.

Speaking about international affairs, Minister Szijjjártó asserted that Hungary and Chad were both among countries advocating peace and regularly called for a peaceful settlement of armed conflicts at international forums. As regards the war in Ukraine, the minister said that Hungary would initiate re-allocating the 18 million dollars worth of its contribution to the European Peace Facility to set up an education centre in Chad for the training of local military officers and also serving the aim to develop the capabilities of that country’s defence forces.