Hungary plans to contribute 5 million euros towards building a hospital in Syria and construction will go ahead once the security situation allows, Peter Szijjarto, the foreign minister, said at a donor conference in Brussels on Wednesday.
During a break in the conference organised by the European Union and the United Nations, he said the investment would help pave the way for the swiftest possible repatriation of Syrians. The situation in Syria and its settlement cannot be separated from the migration crisis in Europe, considering that conflicts in the region are among the main causes of migration, Szijjarto said.
The European Union should revise the priorities of its migration policy; instead of encouraging people to come to Europe, it should focus on eliminating the causes of migration and taking help to places where it is needed in order to allow people to stay at home or near their home, Szijjarto said.
Hungary is also paying its final instalment of the EU package for helping refugees stranded in Turkey. The country will have contributed altogether 14.6 million euros with its last payment.
Hungary is calling for more financial aid to Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan, considering that these countries are looking after millions of refugees, Szijjarto said.
The security circumstances and the living environment in the Middle East need to be developed in order to enable people return to their homes as soon as possible, he said. Hungary has launched a scheme dubbed Hungary Helps to this effect. It is a basic security interest that the pressure resulting from the crisis in the Middle East should be eliminated and people who moved to Europe from the region should be able to return home, he added.
Szijjarto said that encouraging migration is especially risky because over 30 million people live as refugees, receiving regular humanitarian aid, in regions close to the EU and they could set off to Europe at any time. Over the past two years, Hungary provided 3.6 billion forints (EUR 11.6m) on programmes helping Middle Eastern refugees stay at home and return home, he added. Hungary financed the construction of a school and the reconstruction of demolished churches and buildings, and supported hospitals and Catholic communities in Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon, Szijjarto said. A scholarship scheme launched this year to enable 250 Syrian students study in Hungary is planned to be continued next year, he added.
V4 Greek Catholic bishops issue joint statement on persecution of Middle East Christians
The Greek Catholic bishops of Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia on Wednesday issued a joint statement calling attention to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. In their statement, Metropolitan Fulop Kocsis, Czech bishop Ladislav Hucko, Polish bishop Eugeniusz Popowicz and Slovak Metropolitan Jan Babjak seek to highlight the “immense suffering of our brethren in faith” who have been forced to flee their homelands due to the persecution of Christians and armed conflicts.
The bishops appealed to political decision-makers and European citizens, asking them to “take into serious consideration” the immigration of Middle Eastern Christians seeking refuge in Europe.
Source and photo: MTI