Addressing a UNHCR meeting in Geneva on Monday, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó called for migration and asylum policies to resolutely remain a national competence. The minister called for countries to show mutual respect for their varying standpoints on immigration. “As far as migration and asylum policies are concerned, Hungary has no wish to give up any of its national powers, but it nevertheless strives for constructive dialogue with international partners,” he added.
Preparations are needed for further waves of migration following the exit of international forces from Afghanistan, he said, adding that health as well as security risks arose in light of the Covid pandemic. Referring to the migration wave of 2015, he noted that around 400,000 people had crossed Hungary’s borders illegally. “Attempts at social integration in Western Europe have totally failed and parallel societies have emerged in various places,” Szijjártó said.
Hungary, the minister said, fully abides by international law while observing the principle that aid should be exported to where it is needed rather than importing problems. Szijjártó said that international law was clear on the point that people who are forced to flee have the right to temporary safe haven where this is first available. “Asylum is not something we allow to anyone who breaches our borders, from whichever direction.”
Encouragement should be given to people to stay put by establishing good conditions right where they are rather than incentivising them to leave, he said. Hungary, he noted, has helped around 250,000 Christians in the Middle East and Africa to stay in their homelands, with 70 million US dollars under the Hungary Helps programme spent on rebuilding houses, schools, and churches.