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SZIJJÁRTÓ: ‘HUNGARY WON’T VOTE’

 

“It is clearer than day that the [UN] global migration compact, just like the originally voluntary migrant quota, would become a point of reference and a binding basis for rulings in international law,” Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said, noting that Hungary has decided not to take part in the compact’s adoption process in order to make it clear that the document is not binding in whatsoever. He insisted that “serious efforts” in Europe are being made “to create mixed societies” and to make people increasingly distant from their own cultural, legal and religious identities. “For example, we’d like to celebrate Christmas and call it Christmas as we have always done,” the minister said.

He noted that eight countries were refusing to support the package, which, according to the current agenda, may be voted on at the UN General Assembly this year. “Hungary will not vote,” he said.

Meanwhile, responding to a question concerning a statement by Renata Deskoska, Macedonia’s justice minister, in connection with former PM Nikola Gruevski, saying that Hungary had never in the past had a problem about extraditing anyone to Macedonia and had never questioned Macedonia’s judicial measures, Szijjártó said that Hungary abstained from commenting on other countries’ domestic matters unless they concerned steps taken against Hungarian minorities or were an attack on Hungary.  He noted, however, that the European Commission’s latest country report on Macedonia expressed concern about the dangers of political influence on the country’s justice system and court proceedings. Further, the Council of Europe has written about prison conditions in Macedonia that fail to live up to human rights norms, with access to health care and other everyday items denied to inmates who face a violent environment, he added.

The decision to grant asylum to Gruevski was not taken by the government but by the relevant authority independently of the government, Szijjártó said. He added that Hungary will continue to support Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic integration process.

Reacting to a tweet by Johannes Hahn, European commissioner for European neighbourhood policy and enlargement negotiations, expressing surprise that Hungary supported Macedonia’s EU membership but did not regard it as a safe country, Szijjártó said Hahn would do better if he opened his ears to the Western Balkans and helped speed up their European integration process. He added that Hahn’s job performance was “scandalous”.

Asked about Michael Roth, German minister of state for Europe, who said that asylum was not intended as “a gift that heads of government hand out to their mates on the run”, Szijjártó said, “There’s nothing new under the sun”. He added that there was no question concerning Hungary about which Roth “has not said something fantastically wise”, and as usual he was now giving his opinion “on matters about which he has no idea”.