Hungary’s government stressed that it will not permit an unrestricted inflow of migrants from Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover of the country. Meanwhile, Hungary is planning an evacuation operation to bring the remaining Hungarians and Afghans, who aided Hungary out of the capital, Kabul.
The Hungarian government will not allow Afghan migrants to enter the territory of the country in “unrestricted” numbers, Foreign Ministry State Secretary Levente Magyar said earlier this week. The government’s stance is in line with the staunch anti-immigration pursued by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in recent years.
According to Magyar, Afghanistan is in a state of “complete military and political collapse” in the aftermath of the withdrawal of international forces led by the US. “Unfortunately the operation was not carried out the way most of the world would have wanted,” Magyar commented on the withdrawal of international troops. He added that the Hungarian government warned at the time Washington announced that it was pulling its troops out of Afghanistan, that the US should ensure Afghanistan the country did not turn into a hotbed of international terrorism or a departure point for mass migration.
The Orbán government refuses to make the Hungarian people suffer the consequences of such “flawed geopolitical decisions and operations”, the state secretary said.
Magyar claimed there were “documents circulating in the international community calling on countries that had troops stationed in Afghanistan, and Western countries in general” to agree to the unrestricted admittance of Afghan migrants. He added that Hungary will not yield to calls to give blanket admittance to those fleeing Afghanistan.
Magyar warned that Hungary would soon face serious migration pressure, arguing that if migrants fleeing Afghanistan make it through Turkey, they could reach Hungary’s southern border within days.
Rescue mission underway
The Foreign Ministry is organizing a Hungarian evacuation operation to bring the remaining Hungarians out of Kabul, Levente Magyar announced on Wednesday, adding that the rescue mission would also help Afghan nationals, who worked with Hungarian troops during the country’s military presence in Afghanistan over the past two decades. The last contingent of Hungarian soldiers serving in Afghanistan returned to Hungary in early June after completing their missions. Romulusz Ruszin-Szendi, Commander of the Hungarian Armed Forces, praised Hungarian soldiers’ great endeavors together with their NATO colleagues in maintaining security over the past 18 years. The commander recalled that seven Hungarian soldiers lost their lives in Afghanistan during their respective tours in the country.
The main task of the rescue operation is to evacuate an unspecified number of Hungarians who are still in Afghanistan, Magyar said without providing an exact number.
Another 26 Hungarians, who worked as security contractors of the Dutch embassy in Afghanistan were evacuated by Hungary’s NATO allies to the Uzbek capital, Tashkent. Magyar stated that the Afghans who participated in the Hungarian mission in Afghanistan “as the allies of Hungarian soldiers” will be eligible for evacuation through the Hungarian evacuation mission together with their families.
“Obviously this is not how the withdrawal should have been handled,” Magyar said. “What we’re seeing right now in Kabul and other parts of Afghanistan is frightening, and I think … it could bring about an era in migration and international terrorism that we didn’t want and perhaps could have avoided.”
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