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Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó called for strong border protection and close cooperation between the EU and Arab League to prevent members of the Islamic State terrorist organisation from entering Europe. Citing a forecast, Szijjártó said that the population of the Arab states was expected to grow from 398 million in 2015 to 520 million by 2030, and said that countries in Africa and in the Middle East should be helped keep their people at home. “If we don’t succeed, Hungary will be subjected to a significant security risk,” he said. Hungary, as a Visegrad group member, is cooperating with Tunisia and Libya in border protection, and is also pursuing its Hungary Helps scheme to assist persecuted Christians. Hungary has financed hospitals and schools in Syria and Iraq, and provides scholarships to students from Arab countries, Szijjártó added.

On the sidelines of the meeting, the foreign minister had bilateral talks with his counterparts from Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, Lebanon and Palestine.