Syria Supports Hungary’s Policies on Migration, Middle East


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Hungary’s decision to fund the construction of a hospital in Syria and its calls for the European Union (EU) to rebuild the war-torn country instead of encouraging migration have been met with support from the Syrian government, according to a governmental source in Damascus.
The Syrian government backs Budapest’s approach to handling and ending the migrant crisis, a source in the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) told Sputnik reporter and columnist Suliman Mulhem on Thursday.
“We fully support Hungary’s efforts and approach to helping Syrian migrants return home, instead of destabilizing Syria with sanctions and encouraging Syrians to flee to Europe, as the EU has done,” the source told Sputnik on the condition of anonymity.
He also called on the EU and the US to lift economic sanctions against Syria, which have exacerbated the economic turmoil the Arab state is facing and worsened living conditions in government-held territory.
When asked for his thoughts on Hungary’s anti-immigrant stance, he said they should be allowed to choose who can enter and settle in their country.
“Who they [the Hungarian government] let into Hungary is a domestic matter for them to independently decide on, as any other nation is entitled to do. Even in Syria, although we are continuing to house and allow some migrants to enter, from Sudan for example, we have rules and regulations, not a lawless border.”
Hungary’s pledge of US$5 million to finance the construction of a hospital in Syria was made by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó on Wednesday, at a Syria donor conference in Brussels.
He suggested such financial aid offers a long-term solution to the migrant crisis.
“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,” he said during a press conference on April 25.
“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,” the minister insisted.
As the Syrian Army continues to dislodge terrorists from cities and towns across the country, the Syrian government is examining the herculean task of nationwide post-war reconstruction and creating the necessary conditions to allow Syrians to return home from Europe and countries neighboring Syria, particularly Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon.
The US and a number of EU member states have suggested that they would only lift economic sanctions and provide Syria with financial aid if President Bashar al-Assad leaves office.
President Assad has refused to allow external forces to dictate or influence Syrian politics, and said his future can only be decided by the “ballot box.”
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