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Hungary’s foreign minister has called on the European Union to declare the Houthis a terrorist organisation and to help the Yemeni government strengthen its coast guard. The funds necessary for this are available in the European Peace Facility, Péter Szijjártó said on Facebook. Unless the European Union and western countries take firm action, Szijjártó said, “European economies and businesses will have to reckon with this factor of uncertainty for a sustained period.” “The western world sat on the fence for a long time and unfortunately did not recognise the seriousness of the threat posed by the Houthis. Thus in recent weeks traffic accounting for 15% of world trade was endangered off the coast of Yemen due to the attacks of the Houthis,” he said.
The foreign minister noted that the Houthi rebels were constantly attacking cargo ships and the duration and the costs of maritime freight trade from Asia to Europe have increased significantly, as these ships now have to bypass the entire African continent. He said this was an increasingly serious problem for several Hungarian businesses, too, since deliveries are not arriving on time, and shipment costs are also increasing. “The world cannot let this organisation of rebels endanger the freedom of world trade to such an extent. The European Union must also take steps, since it would not be good if the economies of the European Union were to experience even more difficulties in addition to the challenges they are already facing,” the minister said.