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    Migrants queue to board a train at the railway station in Zakany, Hungary October 1, 2015.

    EU Should Not Rely on Turkish 'Goodwill' on Migrant Issue - Hungary Gov't Office

    © REUTERS / Bernadett Szabo
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    The EU-Turkey agreement is important and useful, but the European Union cannot give up on protecting itself and rely on the goodwill of a third country, according to the press office of the Hungarian prime minister.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The European Union should not rely on its agreement with Turkey to manage the influx of undocumented migrants, but rather be able to protect the bloc's borders as the only way to put an end to the migration crisis, the press office of the Hungarian prime minister told Sputnik Monday.

    On Sunday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the Bild newspaper that Ankara could walk away from its promise to stem the flow of illegal migrants to Europe if Brussels failed to grant Turkish citizen visa-free travel to the bloc in October.

    "The EU-Turkey agreement is important and useful, but the European Union cannot give up on protecting itself and rely on the goodwill of a third country. It is both in the interests of Hungary and Europe to maintain a strong alliance with Turkey since its stability is indispensable to eliminating the migration pressure. At the same time, however, EU Member States must be able to protect their own borders since it is the only way of ending the crisis," the press office said.

    The press office pointed to the EU border agency Frontex's conclusions that recent drop in the number of migrants arriving in the European Union was linked to the border protection policies introduced by Balkan states and not due to EU-Turkey deal.

    "Migration should not be decelerated or regulated but stopped," the press office reiterated Hungary's well-known harsh stance on migration, adding that the government of Hungary provides protection to those who are persecuted because of their religion, origin or race.

    "However, it is not our duty to take in those who are setting off to Europe in the hope of a better life, purely for economic reasons," the office concluded.

    In 2015, at the peak of the migrant crisis, around 400,000 migrants and refugees passed through Hungary before the government sealed off its southern borders with razor-wire fences in the fall and brought in tough new anti-migrant laws. In October, Budapest will hold a national referendum seeking political support for the rejection of any future EU plan to resettle migrants in EU countries.


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