BUDAPEST, January 12. /TASS/. Europe may not be able to cope with another wave of illegal migration triggered by the food crisis in the poorest countries of Asia and Africa, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in Beirut on Thursday.
"Hungary and Lebanon are two countries geographically distant from each other, yet we are equally interested in making peace in Ukraine as soon as possible. Of course, if there is no peace, the food crisis will escalate, which will tens of millions to leave their countries," the top diplomat said at a joint press conference with his Lebanese counterpart Abdallah Bou Habib, broadcast on Facebook (a social media site banned in Russia since it is owned by Meta Corporation, which has been deemed extremist by Russia’s authorities).
"We know that these difficulties can lead to new waves of migration from already unstable regions, on a larger scale and more serious than ever before. We also know that these migration flows are destabilizing the situation and are generally directed toward Europe. If this pressure intensifies, Europe will not be able to cope with it," Szijjarto stressed.
With this in mind, he called for assistance to North Africa and the Middle East in creating conditions that would allow people there to live normal lives and help return thousands of refugees home from these regions. The top diplomat expressed hope that Hungary's assistance in the reconstruction of Christian churches in Lebanon would contribute to these efforts. Earlier, the Hungarian government allocated $2 million for this program, and now it has decided to add another $1.8 million, the foreign minister announced.
Speaking later at an international conference on helping Syrian refugees, who already make up nearly a fifth of Lebanon's population, Szijjarto said that in recent years the Hungarian government has carried out a number of projects in Syria worth about $27 million in such areas as construction, education, healthcare and agriculture. If the international community does not change its attitude, more and more Syrians will be leaving their homes and fewer and fewer will be returning home, he was quoted as saying by the MTI news agency.