Right-wing Hungary FM praises Egypt on Europe migration route crackdown

Right-wing Hungary FM praises Egypt on Europe migration route crackdown
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto of the right-wing Fidesz party has praised Egypt's crackdown on migrant routes.
2 min read
23 February, 2022
Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto met with his Egyptian counterpart [Getty]

Hungary’s right-wing foreign minister on Wednesday praised Egypt’s crackdown on migrant routes for Europe-bound refugees through its Mediterranean Sea shores.

Speaking at a news briefing in Cairo, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto urged the European Union to step up support, including funding, to the Egyptian government - which has jailed thousands of dissidents - in its efforts to cut migrant routes to Europe.

The comments by Szijjarto - of the right to far-right Fidesz party - came following talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukry.

Rights groups have condemned the Egyptian government for jailing perceived political opponents in brutal conditions, where torture is common.

The UN’s International Organisation for Migration says Egypt hosts more than 6 million migrants, more than half of them from Sudan and South Sudan, where simmering conflicts continue to displace tens of thousands of people annually.

For some migrants, Egypt is the closest and easiest country for them to enter. For others, it is a point of transit before attempting the dangerous Mediterranean crossing to Europe. Thousands of migrants have died attempting this crossing.

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However, Cairo has in recent years tightened border security and managed to prevent Egypt from becoming a major departure point for Europe-bound migrants.

European Union nations have since 2015 put up concrete and razor-wire walls, installed drone surveillance and cut deals with Turkey and Libya to keep migrants away.

Hungary's populist Prime Minister Viktor Orban is an outspoken opponent of immigration in Europe. He has said that migration threatens to replace the continent’s "Christian culture" and that illegal migrants are responsible for bringing diseases like Covid-19 variants into his country. These claims have been rejected by rights groups.

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi last month criticised Europe’s handling of the migration crisis and its refusal to receive refugees arriving at its borders.