The international community should leave hypocrisy behind and finally make it clear that there is a clear distinction between refugees and illegal migrants, and they should act accordingly, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Wednesday at the UN’s Global Refugee Forum in Geneva.
Szijjártó said at the plenary session of the forum that “Hungary is under double pressure, with the war in Ukraine in the east and the protection of the external borders of the European Union in the south posing a serious challenge on the Western Balkan migration route, which is now the busiest.”
In his speech, Szijjártó pointed out that international law is clear in this area, that if someone is forced to flee, they have the right to stay temporarily in the first safe country, but not the right to go through dozens of safe states until they reach the place of their choice.
He said Hungary admits all refugees, as illustrated by the fact that more than a million people have arrived in the country from neighboring Ukraine since the start of the war; they have received adequate care, including equal access to healthcare and education, and there are more than 1,500 refugee children in schools and kindergartens in Hungary.
In contrast, the authorities are doing their utmost to stop illegal migrants, with 275,000 illegal border crossings recorded last year and almost 200,000 this year.
The Hungarian minister noted the extremely violent behavior of some migrants and people smugglers, some of whom have armed themselves and in several cases shot at Hungarian border guards, making life “hell” for people in the area.
“For the safety of Hungary and Hungarian citizens, we will never let these people in,” he said.