Govt focused on building central European alliances

The Hungarian government is focused on building alliances with its central European peers, as evidenced by last week’s Visegrad Group summit in Budapest and Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s official visit to Vienna earlier this week, the government office chief said on Thursday.

Hungary and Serbia’s joint cabinet meeting scheduled for next week is also in line with this strategy, Janos Lazar told a regular weekly press briefing. Lazar called Orban’s Tuesday meeting with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz successful, saying that the two leaders had discussed all topical issues. The government office chief said Hungary had a fundamental interest in deepening security cooperation with Austria in order to protect the external borders of the Schengen area.

Lazar said he would ask the interior minister to authorise the release of images recorded by infra-red cameras along the fence erected on Hungary’s southern borders in response to a migrant wave. He said that his experience during a visit paid to the region was that migrants seeking to enter Hungary illegally were cutting holes in the fence with metal cutters every 2-3 hours on a daily basis.Without the double fence or constant patrols of the border, illegal entries would be a continuous flow instead of the current 30-50 attempts made each day, Lazar said. Migrants taken back to the transit zones are not asylum-seekers, he said, adding that they never had any intention of submitting an asylum application.

On the topic of Austria’s appeal with the European Court of Justice over the upgrade of the Paks nuclear power plant, Lazar said Hungary respected Austria’s anti-nuclear position, but expressed hope that the two countries would cooperate on nuclear energy once Vienna’s legal challenge is dealt with.

Source and photo: MTI

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