By: V4 Agency
We need external allies to halt the current migratory waves, and Egypt is an extremely important partner in this respect, so the European Union should act accordingly, Hungary’s foreign minister said in Budapest on Monday after talks with his counterparts in the Visegrad Group countries and Egypt.
The world is facing serious security challenges due to the failure of international intervention in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said after a meeting of the Visegrad Group countries (V4) and Egypt. This situation is not new to Europe, he added, as the continent has been under constant migratory pressure since 2015.
“We, the Visegrad countries, can rightly be proud of ourselves, as the four of us together have prevented the introduction of mandatory resettlement quotas in Europe,” he said, adding that if it had not succeeded, “thousands or tens of thousands of illegal migrants would be living in our countries today.”
Mr Szijjarto stressed that close cooperation was needed again, as they “make mistake after mistake” in international politics, and the irresponsible statements threaten with new, even greater waves of immigration.
To illustrate this, he highlighted that there are four million internally displaced people in Afghanistan. They have already left their homes and their goal is to leave the country. “You can already hear the implications and suggestions that these migrants will have to be redistributed,” he said.
Péter Szijjarto underlined that the Hungarian government had already evacuated all those who had previously helped Hungary and would not receive anyone else from the South Asian country. He added that migratory pressures were emerging in Europe not only from the south but also from the east, which Poland was forced to face.
He stressed that external allies were needed to stop the waves of immigration, adding that Egypt was an important partner for the EU in that.
Cairo has demonstrated that migration could be halted on sea routes by closing Egypt’s maritime borders and eliminating human trafficking networks, he said.
“In our view, the EU would benefit by adopting an approach to Egypt in line with all of this. It would be good to assume a more nuanced tone in the future when the EU comes to issuing statements condemning Egypt, and it would also help if European development funds to be transferred did arrive indeed,” he said. We will count on Egypt in the future too, he stressed.
Hungary’s minister for trade and foreign affairs has pledged that the Visegrad Group countries will look into whether it is true that – due to various EU sanctions – Egypt is unable to access technologies that would help make its border protection even more effective.
The meeting attended by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek, Polish National Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak and Slovak Foreign Affairs State Secretary Martin Klus was held in preparation for the V4-Egypt summit set for Tuesday, the Hungarian foreign ministry said.
Mariusz Blaszczak emphasized that the borders of Poland and the European Union must be protected and Warsaw has already taken a number of measures to this end. Illegal immigration and terrorism pose serious threats, he said, stressing that responsible governments must do everything they can to protect their citizens.
Sameh Shoukry emphasized the importance of combating illegal migration. He pointed out that Egypt needs help from international partners as the country is hosting between 5.6 to 6 million immigrants, which is more than the total population of some countries. Egypt is fighting on all fronts against extremist ideologies, the spread of which poses a threat to both the region and Europe, he added.
Jakub Kulhan has praised the intensive cultural, economic and security cooperation between the EU and Egypt. He stressed that Egypt is a close ally and plays a key role in stability in the Middle East. Martin Klus emphasized that the V4 Group has always been a platform for cooperation and solidarity, adding that in this spirit, partners are providing help to Poland to tackle migration and also offer assistance, for example, to Egypt.