In Budapest on Tuesday, in a press statement after the summit between the prime ministers of the Visegrád Four (V4) and President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that his fellow prime ministers had told the President Sisi of their recognition and appreciation of his work for stability in his country’s region.
Speaking as host of the meeting in the Pest Vigadó, the Hungarian prime minister said that agenda topics had been terrorism, illegal migration, the stability of the Southern Mediterranean and the status and development of economic cooperation between Egypt and Central Europe.
Regarding migration, Mr. Orbán said that the Egyptian president and his government are making efforts to care for the millions of migrants currently in Egypt, to curb migration and to contain the situation. These efforts deserve recognition, the Prime Minister said, as they not only benefit Egypt, but equally the protection and stability of the entire European Union.
Mr. Orbán stated that Hungary, situated in the southern half of the EU, is especially grateful to the Egyptian president for this work, which also protects the Hungarian borders.
He went on to point out that in the meeting they had also spoken about Libya, which has provided “an important lesson for the EU”, as “we have responsibility” for the situation which has developed there. “Given that we westerners intervened in the life of that country, but without a viable plan for the region, we also share responsibility for the fact that Libya’s northern border remains unguarded and unprotected, and has opened up towards Europe”, he said. He thinks the forces that may be able to contain the situation in Libya should cooperate so that the country can once again have a strong political leadership that is able to enforce its laws.
The Prime Minister voiced his hope for future economic cooperation between Central Europe and Egypt, indicating that at present this cooperation is “far below its true potential”. He referred to President Sisi’s suggestion that a special cooperation scheme between Central Europe and Egypt should be set up to bring these economic opportunities to fruition.
Mr. Orbán also called for a meeting of the EU-Egypt Association Council as soon as possible, in order to review relations.
The Prime Minister told the press that the mission of the Hungarian V4 Presidency – which began a few days ago and which will hold its plenary meetings in the Pest Vigadó – will be “to strengthen the EU from both the inside and the outside”.
Mr. Orbán said that the prime ministers of the four Visegrád states – Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary – also had separate talks on the issues of internally strengthening the EU, the state of the European economy and illegal migration.