“National responses work best in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic; Brussels coordination has taken a back seat”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said at Tuesday’s session of the National Assembly.
In his pre-agenda speech, the Minister reported on the recent meetings of NATO and EU foreign ministers, highlighting: “Everyone has made their decisions on a national basis in accordance with national specificities and values, while Brussels coordination has taken a back seat with respect to every area, including repatriation and the procurement of protective healthcare equipment”.
“All of Europe, including the permanently critical Western Europe, which is often even prepared to lecture and talk down to other states about the essence of democracy, are standing in line at China’s door for protective healthcare equipment”, he stated. “For this reason, European policy relating to Eastern relations may have to be rethought following the pandemic”, he added.
“Today’s session of Parliament is a living rebuttal of the fake news being continuously manufactured in the international fake news factory with relation to the fact that we have done away with Hungarian parliamentarism”, he emphasised. “Hungary’s Parliament is remaining in session throughout the state of emergency”, he pointed out.
With relation to the recent meeting of NATO member state foreign ministers, Mr. Szijjártó said: “The Alliance must pay proper attention to the fight against terrorism, because terrorism is one of the root causes of illegal migration processes”, explaining that in his opinion if a large wave of migration sets out for Europe, it will bring with it not only the existing major security and cultural risks, but also extremely serious health risks.
The Minister also mentioned that Hungary had already decided to increase the number of Hungarian soldiers stationed in Afghanistan when the United States came to an agreement with the Taliban, meaning there is now no further need to increase the number of troops, and the contingent original planned for Afghanistan can now be used in other NATO operations, with relation to which consultations are underway with the NATO Secretary General. “Hungary supports the expansion of NATO operations in Iraq, and is prepared to participate in them”, he noted.
The Foreign Minister also spoke about the fact that NATO operates a Centre of Excellence for Military Medicine in Budapest, which is undertaking a major role in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic. “NATO is operating a so-called reflexive group, which is tasked with preparing for new types of challenges and the changes they cause, but several Central European and Balkan countries have indicated that the group is geographically unbalanced in view of the fact that it only has a single Central European member”, he stated.
(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI)