On his way to the UN General Assembly in New York City, New York, Minister of Foreign Affairs Péter Szijjártó of Hungary also visited the state of Texas. While there, he gave an interview to Fox News Digital on Monday, 25 September, in which he discussed the similarities between Hungarian and American border defence.
Minister Szijjártó pointed out that Hungary has proved the effectiveness of physical border barriers when it erected its border fence during the 2015 European migration crisis. On that note, he praised the Trump era measures concerning the Southern border of the United States, such as the buoys set up in the Rio Grande River or the 500-mile-long wall that was built as an expansion of the border barrier, even calling these measures ‘vital’.
The Orbán administration faced significant backlash from Western governments and mainstream media for its response to the 2015 migration crisis. However, over time,
many governments have since adopted similar rhetoric and policies to that of PM Orbán at the time.
Minister Szijjártó highlighted that while the US–Mexico border is much longer than the one between Serbia and Hungary (the former is about 3,200 kilometres or 2,000 miles, while the latter is about only 175 kilometres or 110 miles), the US and Hungary still face similar challenges when it comes to border protection.
Both countries are under constant migration pressure from the South;
and both countries have to deal with political forces that are actively trying to hinder border protection,
which he attributed to left-wing politicians and media outlets.
‘You have built some infrastructure to protect [the border], and this is the only way. So, if you do not build a physical infrastructure with simple manpower, it is absolutely impossible to protect your border. So, physical infrastructure—be they a fence, a wall or buoys on water—you have to do it, otherwise you are defenceless,’ he elaborated on his support for the border wall in his interview.
He went on to stress that he sees border protection as a crucial issue of national sovereignty, as he believes Hungary has the right to maintain its ‘character and identity’, which would be threatened by excessive migration.
‘Hungary must remain the country of the Hungarians,
and I understand that the conservatives, the Republicans here and in Texas, are standing up for this as well,’
the minister concluded.