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Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó called for increased efforts to stop illegal immigration after a meeting of the foreign ministers of the C5 format of the Central European countries in Ljubljana. He told a press conference that its causes should be dealt with in the countries of origin, while protection of the external borders should be intensified “just as Hungary has done”. He said the Hungarian government considered border violations as attacks against the country’s sovereignty, adding that rounding up people smuggling gangs was crucial. “Criminals and migrants have fired shots at border guards on several occasions, which is completely unacceptable… We do not need such people in the EU,” he said. The minister said pull factors of illegal migration should be reduced, adding that mandatory distribution quotas “act in just that way”. Answering a question, Szijjártó confirmed the government’s support for any initiative aimed at freeing hostages held in Gaza, including a Hungarian national. The success of Israel’s anti-terrorism operation, he said, was of global importance, but “saving the civilians should also be an important aspect.” Regarding Ukraine, he mentioned that over one million refugees had crossed into Hungary since the outbreak of the war. He said “neither side can win on the battlefield” and the armed conflict could only be resolved through negotiations; “the question remains when, and it would be sooner than later.” “The sooner there is a ceasefire and peace talks, the fewer people will die and destruction will be less detrimental.”