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Hungary dismisses Estonian compromise offer on asylum-seekers
December 4, 2017 / 2:28 PM / 8 days ago

Hungary dismisses Estonian compromise offer on asylum-seekers

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary remains firmly opposed to illegal immigration and the European Union should focus efforts on protecting its external borders, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said about an Estonian compromise proposal on asylum-seekers.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto attends an interview with Reuters in Budapest, Hungary September 12, 2017. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

“Hungary’s view on migration is clear and rock steady: We think illegal immigration is dangerous. Because of illegal immigration, Europe has never had to face the kind of terror threat it faces now,” Szijjarto told a news conference with ministers and officials from eastern and southern Europe, in response to a question.

Under the Estonian plan, the executive European Commission would determine “fair shares” of asylum-seekers that countries would be expected to take in at their own borders - largely based on their population and wealth. But it would trigger an “early warning” if arrivals looked about to test such levels.

Szijjarto said any “encouragement” for further migrant arrivals was against Europe’s interests, adding that the only solution acceptable to Budapest was that illegal immigration should be stopped, preferably as far outside the EU’s borders as possible.

Reporting by Gergely Szakacs and Marton Dunai; Editing by Alison Williams

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