Hungary is paying the Sahel region of north Africa increased attention as it is a potential source of migration in the direction of Europe, Tristan Azbej, the state secretary responsible for aiding persecuted Christians, said on Tuesday. Attending an informal meeting of representatives in charge of EU development policy in the member states in Cadiz, Azbej noted the emergence of armed conflicts in several countries in Africa and the recent military coup in Niger. He said Hungary was the first to call on the sides in Niger “to return to the constitutional order”, adding that any outbreak of chaos must be prevented through development and humanitarian aid.
Hungary and the EU have an interest in promoting a peaceful solution through “a development partnership” in a bid to pre-empt the escalation of wars in neighbouring crisis zones, he said. Participants at the Cadiz meeting agreed that the EU must close its global competitiveness gap by promoting international development partnerships under the Team Europe and Global Gateway schemes. The foreign ministry’s state secretary gave an outline of the Hungary Helps humanitarian programme, noting that it had so far provided direct aid to more than 50 countries and one million people around the world.