- Title: Hungary urges EU dialogue with Turkey to prevent new wave of migrants
- Date: 10th October 2019
- Summary: KISKUNDOROZSMA, HUNGARY (FILE - 2015) (REUTERS) WORKER TURNING WHEEL AT GAS DISTRIBUTION PLANT VARIOUS OF GAS PLANT
- Embargoed: 24th October 2019 20:28
- Keywords: Hungary Peter Szijjarto Turkey Syria conflict migration gas Russian gas EU
- Location: BUDAPEST AND KISKUNDOROZSMA, HUNGARY
- City: BUDAPEST AND KISKUNDOROZSMA, HUNGARY
- Country: Hungary
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA002B0IOABD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The European Union should have a dialogue with Turkey despite Ankara's offensive on Kurdish-led forces in Syria, in order to avoid a fresh wave of migrants coming to Europe, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Thursday (October 10).
Turkish troops and their Syrian rebel allies pushed further into Syrian territory on Thursday, opening up a new front in the Syrian civil war and exposing Europe's inability to influence the direction of the conflict.
The EU relies on Turkey to curb the arrival of refugees into Europe following a 2016 agreement to seal off the Aegean route after more than 1 million people entered the bloc. Turkey, which hosts 3.6 million Syrian refugees, threatened to "open the gates" to allow those already in the country to head for Europe unless it receives support for its plans.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, in power for nearly a decade, has often been at loggerheads with Brussels, for example over his refusal to take in migrants under an EU quota scheme and his efforts to tighten control over the media, and academic institutions.
Under Orban, Hungary also pursues what he has hailed as good pragmatic relations with Russia. President Vladimir Putin is due to visit Budapest later this month.
Szijjarto said the main issue on the agenda will be energy, with Hungary still reliant on Russia for the natural gas it needs, as diversification of supply was still not possible in Central Europe due to a lack of alternative sources and pipelines.
When asked by Reuters reporters where Hungary would stand if the EU decided at the end of 2019 to extend sanctions against Russia that were imposed on Moscow after its seizure of Crimea from Ukraine, Szijjarto said that they had would not break the unity of the European Union.
(Production: Kriszta Fenyo, Louisa Naks)
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