“As soon as the security situation permits, Hungary will be constructing a hospital in Syria at a cost of 5 million euros. The project will contribute to enabling as many people as possible to return to their homeland at the earliest opportunity and receive a suitable level of care there”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Wednesday in the recess of the EU-UN Syria donor conference in Brussels.
At his press conference, the Minister stressed: “The situation in Syria and its resolution cannot be separated from the migration crisis that is affecting Europe in view of the fact that the conflicts in the region are one of the main causes of it”.
“European Union migration policy needs a fundamental change of direction. Instead of encouraging people to come to Europe, the EU should be concentrating on stopping the causes of migration and on taking assistance to where it is needed to enable people to remain at home or in the vicinity of their homes”, Mr. Szijjártó explained.
The Hungarian Foreign Minister highlighted the fact that this year Hungary will be paying its final instalment towards the EU refugee package to assist Turkey, meaning it will have contributed a total of 14.6 million euros to enabling Ankara to provide a suitable level of care to the millions of Syrian refugees now living in the country.
“In addition, Hungary is also calling for Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan, which are in the immediate vicinity of the war zone, to receive more financial assistance from the EU in view of the fact that these countries are caring for millions of refugees”, Mr. Szijjártó said.
“We must create suitable security and livelihood conditions in the Middle East to ensure that people who have fled from the region can return to their homes as soon as possible”, he said, adding: “It is for this reason that Hungary launched the Hungary Helps Initiative, because it is a fundamental security interest for the circumstances that are forcing people to leave their homes as a result of the crises in the Middle East to come to an end and for people who have fled to Europe from the region are able to return home”.
The Minister pointed out that encouraging migration is particularly risky in view of the fact that there are some 30 million people living as refugees and on regular humanitarian aid in the vicinity of the European Union today, who could set out for Europe at any moment. “During the past two and a half years Hungary has spent 3.6 billion forints (EUR 11.5 million) on programmes aimed at enabling Middle Eastern refugees to remain in place or return home. “It has built a school, is financing the reconstruction of destroyed buildings and churches, and is funding hospitals and Christian communities in Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon in the interest of helping people to return home”, Mr. Szijjártó said. “Hungary also plans to continue the scholarship programme it launched this year for 250 Syrian students in future”, he added.