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The role of Central Asia in the world has grown more important both in terms of security and the global economy, the foreign minister said after talks with Kyrgyz counterpart Ruslan Kazakbaev in Budapest.

The European Union should devote greater attention to the region, Péter Szijjártó said. “The failure” of the international military campaign in Afghanistan means that the security of Central Asia has a greater impact on global security than ever before, Szijjártó said. Yet certain EU leaders continue to make “irresponsible comments” that could easily lead to a migration wave bigger than the one Europe experienced in 2015, the minister warned. The opinions of the Central Asian countries, he added, should not be ignored, namely that the problems arising in Afghanistan should be addressed locally. “This is exactly why it is irresponsible and dangerous for EU institutions to encourage Afghans to migrate,” he said. “This would destabilise the whole region, which would also have a serious impact on Europe’s security situation.” Szijjártó said it was also important for Hungarian businesses to benefit from Central Asia’s economic growth through the government’s strategy of opening to the East. Trade turnover between Hungary and Kyrgyzstan is up 62% this year, he noted.