Hungary is not admitting migrants, only provides shelter, according to the Geneva Convention, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade told Magyar Hirlap. He stressed that temporary protection which the Hungarian state provides, has nothing to do with mass illegal immigration, and mixing the two issues is deceitful.
“Our standpoint is clear: we hadn’t let in a single migrant, and we won’t let in any, because illegal migrants can’t enter Hungary. Period. This is why we built the fence, spent one billion euros on border protection and opposed the quota”.
The Hungarian government has been heavily criticised by the opposition, after understecretary Kristof Altusz told a Maltese newspaper that Hungary “secretly” admitted 1300 asylum seekers last year, which equals with its assigned EU quota. According to the opposition the government has been deceiving the people with its anti-migration campaigns.
Szijjarto stressed that Sebastian Kurz’s victory in Austria is a positive sign for Hungary, because the ÖVP-FPÖ migration policy is much closer to Hungary’s than the policy of the previous, left-wing chancellors. Szijjarto added that he could aways rely on Kurz in the Foreign Affairs Council, in migration debates for example. The minister added that sovereignist vs. federalist debate in the EU is increasing, even though with less intensity until Germany finally has a government. He said that some countries think a strong EU can be built on weak member states, but Hungary says the opposite.
Szijjarto also expressed support to the right-wing alliance led by Forza Italia in Italy.
Considering his recent visit to Washington DC, Szijjarto said the appointment of Assistant Secretary of State Wes Mitchell is an important chance, because bilateral relations can be built on mutual respect again. He added that for the first time in eight years, he felt that Hungary is treated as an important ally, and not as a small Central European state whose representative visited Washington to be lectured.