The international community should create the conditions for communities persecuted by terrorist groups to be able to survive in their homeland and for those who have had to flee their countries to return home, Hungary’s foreign minister told an anti-terrorism conference in Ulaanbaatar. At the event organised by the United Nations and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Péter Szijjártó said more than 300 people have been killed in terrorist attacks in Europe since the migration crisis of 2015. Since then, European leaders have been intensively debating the solution to illegal migration, he said. Hungary puts the safety of its people first and has made strenuous efforts to beef up the protection of its borders, the minister added.
Szijjártó said there was a strong link between illegal and uncontrolled migration and terrorism, arguing that the uncontrolled inflow of migrants allowed terrorist organisations to smuggle their fighters into Europe. He said the global coalition fighting terrorism had ejected the Islamic State militant group from 98 percent of the territory it had occupied, adding, however, that this did not mean the end of IS. The international community must therefore continue the fight against IS and every other terrorist group, he said, adding that efforts should be taken to prevent jihadists from spreading their ideology and recruiting new members online. Another important step, he said, was cutting off terrorist funding streams, adding that the international community should therefore be careful when choosing how to assist migrants. Szijjártó warned that the European Union and the UN could also be helping terrorists unwittingly by distributing pre-paid bank cards to migrants.
He noted the Islamic State had recruited thousands of people from around the world, including more than 5,000 militants from Europe. He said the jihadists who had survived the fight against the international coalition were now looking to return to their homelands so that they could carry out terrorist attacks there. Szijjártó called on the international community to end what he called the “culture of impunity” and support a resolution by the UN Security Council on setting up an international tribunal to try IS fighters.
Meanwhile, Szijjártó said Hungary has hundreds of troops serving in peacekeeping missions worldwide, helping to create the conditions for refugees to return to their homelands. He said Hungary has established a special relationship with a number of Christian communities living in crisis zones, adding that religious leaders there want Europe to help those communities remain in their homelands. Szijjártó said Hungary is helping those communities by sending them aid, rebuilding their churches, schools and hospitals and building them new homes and orphanages. Hungary has so far sent 35 million dollars’ worth of aid to destitute communities, he added.