The potential escalation of the conflict in Israel from an anti-terror operation to another interstate armed conflict ‘would take us extremely close to a third world war’, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in New York on Tuesday.
Arriving at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, Szijjártó noted that several of his European and North American counterparts would be present at the session given the level of concern over the conflict in Israel. ‘It has to be made clear that Israel has been a victim of a brutal terrorist attack, because the act of firing thousands of missiles onto the territory of a sovereign country, killing a large number of civilians and taking hostages cannot be interpreted any other way,’ he declared.
Israel has the right to take action over this brutal attack, he added, underlining that ‘Israel does indeed have a right to self-defence.’ At the same time, Szijjártó remarked that most countries want to avoid the escalation of the fight against terrorism into an interstate war, which in his opinion would be ‘a real global security tragedy’.
‘A war in Ukraine, terrorist attacks in Africa, and a potential escalation of a conflict in the Middle East to an interstate war combined would take us very, very close to something we’d call a third world war,’ he nailed down. Szijjártó shared that he had spoken earlier with his Egyptian, Jordanian and Emirati counterparts, pointing out that these countries were all key to the stability of the Middle East region. He highlighted the importance of the support of the Arab countries whose ‘reserved, constructive and positive approach’ he said has played a crucial role in the region’s security and stability. The minister underscored that it was critical
not to allow the terrorist attack against Israel to destroy the progress and the hope for peace brought about by the Abraham Accords.
Meanwhile, Szijjártó praised Egypt’s help in keeping illegal migration at bay, saying that instability in the region would put Europe under ‘unbearable’ pressure. Another reason why Egypt is a key player, he added, is that it is the only direction to leave the Gaza Strip by land. An escalation of the fight against terrorism in Israel to an interstate war would destabilize several countries, and Europe could easily find itself under a level of security pressure that, when coupled with the security pressure from Ukraine, would be impossible to handle, the minister warned. He stressed that the ministry was in constant contact with the 15 Hungarian citizens trapped in Gaza, all of whom are unharmed. The government is working hard to create the physical, legal, and security conditions for their evacuation, Péter Szijjártó noted. ‘This will only be possible within the framework of a major international agreement and broad international cooperation,’ Szijjártó said. He recalled that Cairo had recently given the Hungarian nationals permission to enter Egypt’s territory, but they were ultimately turned back for security reasons.
Sources: Hungarian Conservative/MTI