Szijjarto: Security is our nr1 priority

Hungary and its citizens’ security continues to be the Hungarian government’s “number one priority”, Peter Szijjarto, the foreign minister, said in New York on Friday.

During talks on the United Nations’ global migration package, Szijjarto said that Hungary has recently seen “what illegal migration is like, when crowds of people cross the country to reach better-off western Europe”. “The events have proved that border protection is a very important responsibility,” he added. The Hungarian government disagrees with the final draft of the package, because it sees it as “one with the rights of migrants at its centre”, Szijjarto said, and insisted that “focus should also be given to the rights of those that want to live in peace and security in their own homelands”.

Seeing previous drafts of the document, Hungary had mulled leaving the negotiations before, Szijjarto said, but then stayed because “we believe in dialogue based on mutual respect and trust”. The final version, however, still contains points the Hungarian government cannot agree with, he said. He cited the preamble of the text stating that migration is a basic human right and an unquestionably favourable tendency as an example. In Hungary’s view, illegal migration should not be encouraged. Finding adequate solutions to labour market and demographic challenges should be each country’s decision, he said. No country should be pressured with the notion that migration is the only solution, he said.

Instead of facilitating migration, the focus should be on handling its root causes, helping where help is really needed, he said. Hungary’s migration policy is based on common sense, he said. Only legal entries are allowed in Hungary, he said. “We shall preserve Hungary a Hungarian state,” he said.

Before his speech, Szijjarto told Hungarian news agency MTI that Hungary must withdraw from the process of adopting the package as it would have a binding effect on member states. “The final text goes completely against common sense, it is in conflict with Hungary’s interests and efforts aimed at restoring stability in Europe”, he said. The draft is aimed at “recklessly promoting migration” and focuses “exclusively on the interests of Africa, South America and small island states as it defines migration as a fundamental human right,” Szijjarto insisted. “This is a false approach,” he added.

If adopted, provisions of the document would qualify “as an invitation” for migrants which could trigger further waves of “millions” of migrants, Szijjarto said. Under the package, member states would be obliged to “provide all services to each migrant, and those services should be equal to ones provided to local residents,” the minister said. He went on to say that member states would be required to provide education to migrants, offer legal services through NGOs, while illegal migrants should be “granted legal status rather then sent home”. “Border protection would be required to be treated as a human rights rather than security issue,” Szijjarto said.

Szijjarto said that “it is the same game as they played with the quotas in the EU”; “at first they made it seem as if the quotas would be voluntary and they turned out to be mandatory”. He insisted that the package would be made a part of international law, and member states would be required to create national programmes of implementation. The minister said he would propose that the government should quit the approval process and “make it clear that it does not consider any of its provisions as binding”.

Source and photo: MTI

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