Illegal immigration is a threat to Europe’s future, its culture and civilization, Budapest’s top diplomat and trade minister, Péter Szijjártó has told the Voice of America news service.
Speaking in an interview with VOA, Szijjártó said that his nation has “a very clear policy. We want to preserve Hungary as a Hungarian country. We have a right for that. It’s a sovereign right of Hungary to decide whom we would like to allow to enter the territory of the country, and with whom we would like to live together.
“That must be a national decision . . . a matter of national sovereignty, and we don’t want to give that up,” he said. “And we do not accept either Brussels, New York or Geneva taking these kinds of decisions instead of us.”
Although some EU nations see “migration as something desirable — and, you know, I don’t agree with them, definitely don’t agree,” he added, he also expects that Hungarians won’t be judged “just because we think differently.”
“We think that the illegal migration is a threat to the European future, a threat to the European culture and to the European civilization,” he said. “We are a country which sticks strictly to national identity, which would like to preserve religious heritage, historic heritage and cultural heritage. We do not want to lose them,” he said.
Szijjártó then extolled the policies of Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini aimed at stopping the Third World invasion via the Mediterranean Sea.
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“We Hungarians have proven that, with the support of the Central European countries who send troops and policemen to our southern border, that the migration can be stopped on the western Balkan route,” he said.
“But it can be stopped on the maritime route as well, and the way to do so would be the way Mr. Salvini would like to do. But unfortunately, instead of being supported by Brussels, he was enormously attacked by European institutions,” said Szijjártó. He was referring to a recent event in which a German charity ship carrying 42 refugees and migrants rescued off the coast of Libya entered Italian waters in defiance of an explicit ban by Salvini, who also serves as Italy’s interior minister.
“You know, I think it’s very important to understand what is a human right and what is not a human right, because migration is definitely not a fundamental human right,” he said. “It is not written anywhere.”
A fundamental human right, he said, “is to have a safe and secure life back at home. That’s why I think that, in the case of people who have to escape their homes because of armed conflict, then we have to bring the help where it is needed instead of bringing problems where there are no problems,” he said.
“Just give you one example: We have a program called ‘Hungary Helps,’ which focuses on helping Christian communities in the Middle East,” he said, explaining that the program has allocated $35 million to home reconstruction and medical expenses for Christians in conflict zones.
“This must be the policy — to help people where they live and not to encourage them to, you know, leave their homes and then move all over.”