Foreign Minister: Hungary Won’t Give In To EC’s ‘Blackmail’

  • 14 Jun 2017 8:56 AM
Foreign Minister: Hungary Won’t Give In To EC’s ‘Blackmail’
The government will not give in to the European Commission’s attempt to “blackmail” member states that refuse to implement the EU’s migrant quota redistribution scheme by launching infringement procedures against them, the foreign minister said in parliament. Péter Szijjártó said the EC was overstepping its authority, adding that the government would not allow anyone to cross Hungary’s border illegally.

“Not even the EC can take away member states’ right to decide whom they want to let into their country and whom they want to live together with,” he said. Szijjártó said Europe’s migrant crisis must be tackled at its roots. He named the Islamic State (IS) militant group as the primary cause of the crisis.

The United States-led international coalition fighting IS has recently had success in the fight against the terrorist group. It has reclaimed 62% of the territory IS had occupied in Iraq and 30% of what it had occupied in Syria, liberating 4.1 million people, Szijjártó noted. He said Hungary could be proud of its soldiers’ contributions to the international coalition.

So far more than 500 Hungarian soldiers have served in Iraq since parliament approved Hungary’s participation in the mission in 2015. Szijjártó said that in the fight against terrorism, “the civilised world” can have no other goal than to defeat IS, and in the process not only tackle one of the root causes of migration but also greatly boost the security of Europe and its neighbouring regions.

He said the new US administration had given new momentum to the fight against IS, noting that NATO has also recently decided to join the international coalition.

The minister said Europeans were also experiencing the brutality of IS first hand, arguing that the migration pressure facing Europe had increased the threat of terrorism on the continent.

Republished with permission of Hungary Matters, MTI’s daily newsletter.

MTI photo: Kovács Attila

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