Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s foreign minister, has called on the European Union to change its “failed” policy in Africa and the Middle East, to allow the return of Syrian and Libyan migrants to their homelands. Szijjártó told a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday that the EU must also strive to stop migration from those countries, and stem migrants’ transit through them.
Szijjártó said the past few years’ measures had been “utterly unsuccessful”, and warned that the EU would lose all weight in the region unless it adapted its policies radically.
The EU must provide aid to Turkey to help as many Syrian migrants return to their homelands as possible, lest Turkey fail to maintain the agreement signed in 2016 on holding migrants if it is hit by further waves, he said. Brussels should also launch security, economic and health-care development projects in the Middle East and Africa rather than “inspiring further waves of migration”, Szijjártó said. It should also support African countries in protecting their southern borders, he said. “If the European Union cannot do that, and we carry on with the Africa and Middle East policy of the past few years, the bloc is going to face further security risks,” he said.