Szijjártó: Rational, Cool-Headed Attitude Needed In Relation To Turkey

  • 15 Nov 2016 8:00 AM
Szijjártó: Rational, Cool-Headed Attitude Needed In Relation To Turkey
A rational and cool-headed approach is needed in the current situation with regard to Turkey, since Europe’s security starts with Turkish stability, Péter Szijjártó, the foreign minister, told journalists on the sidelines of a meeting of European foreign and defence ministers on Monday.

Szijjártó said the agreement between the European Union and Turkey on migration puts European security and stability in the hands of Ankara.

Serious difficulties could ensue for Europe if the pact falls apart or is suspended, he said, adding that Hungary’s view is that any criticism of Turkey should be formulated with great care because if Turkey tips into a state of instability then this could lead to weaknesses in European security.

On the subject of the EU’s Eastern Partnership programme, Szijjártó said that the bloc’s credibility was “at stake” because it was “failing to meet its pledges” to Georgia or Ukraine, which he said had met all requirements necessary for the EU to grant a visafree status to their citizens.

“Some member states and EU institutions” were coming up with new conditions unmentioned when the talks started, Szijjártó insisted. The EU must help countries willing to “take the path of European or Euro-Atlantic integration”, he added.

Ministers in Monday’s meeting proposed that an association conference should be held with representatives of the EU and Egypt, Szijjártó said, adding that Egypt’s stability was crucial for Europe.

He also noted that foreign ministers of the Visegrad countries were planning to meet their Egyptian counterpart on Dec. 20.

Concerning the EU’s draft global security and defence strategy, Szijjártó said participants in the meeting had adopted a passage proposed by Hungary aimed at stopping illegal migration.

He said “there is no security strategy without stopping the influx of migrants”, arguing that uncontrolled migration increased the risk of a terrorist attack and could lead to instability.

Szijjártó said that distributing migrants under a quota regime conveyed “the wrong message”, suggesting to migrants that they could safely come to Europe because a mechanism was in place to ensure their accommodation.

Efforts, however, should be focused on reducing the pressure of migration, he added.

Republished with permission of Hungary Matters, MTI’s daily newsletter.

MTI photo: KKM / Burger Zsolt

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