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“Hungary not immigrant country” – Hungary PM Orbán writes letter to Juncker

In a letter to the European Commission president, Hungary's PM has insisted that the president's "interpretation of solidarity conforms neither to EU law nor the historical traditions of Hungary".

"Unlike some other major EU member states, Hungary does not have a colonial past," the PM said, adding that immigrant countries had obligations arising from their colonial past. "Hungary is not an immigrant country and does not want to become one."

Viktor Orbán wrote to Jean-Claude Juncker that he was pleased that the commission president, in his recent letter to Orbán, had recognised Hungary's efforts to protect the European Union's external border. "Over the past two years, Hungary has been protecting the common borders by mobilising Hungarian resources, with a heavy budgetary burden, by building a fence and deploying thousands of border guards," the letter said.

Addressing Juncker's point that Hungary had refused some EU funds, Orbán wrote: "Hungary must always behave like a Schengen-border country, but for geographical reasons, migrants cross the borders of the EU of other EU member states, especially Greece. It is for this reason that Hungary has not participated in projects that do not make this issue clear, and it does not want to do so in future either." - editor.

The protection of refugees is not incompatible with guaranteeing security, the head of the United Nations' Refugee Agency (UNHCR) told a press conference in Budapest. It is not only a right but a duty of every country to protect its borders and guarantee the security of its citizens, Filippo Grandi said after visiting the Hungarian-Serbian border area and holding talks with Hungary's Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó and Interior Minister Sándor Pintér. These obligations are not in conflict with the moral obligation to provide help for refugees, he added. On the subject of his talks with Hungarian government officials, Grandi said he had urged them to ensure asylum seekers access to asylum procedures.

The high commissioner said he had expressed his concerns about a law prohibiting asylum seekers from leaving the transit zones set up on the border until their cases are ruled on and the fact that few asylum seekers are granted refugee status. It is understandable that Hungary is in a difficult position, the high commissioner said, arguing that Hungary was a transit country between the western Balkans and western Europe.

However, Hungary's asylum regulations send a message of rejection, he added. On the subject of the EU's migrant relocation quota scheme, Grandi said certain member states were right to want to share the burden of the migrant crisis, and called it regrettable that Hungary was opposed to taking part in it. Responding to a journalist question, Grandi said his office had requested a meeting with the Hungarian prime minister which however could not be scheduled due to the prime minister's other commitments.

Source: MTI

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 September 2017 20:24

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