Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said yesterday that his country and Austria will help Serbia curb the number of migrants crossing its southern borders, pointing to an “explosion” in the number of people entering European countries without permits in recent months.
Szijjarto explained that Hungary and Austria will provide Serbia with the necessary equipment and personnel to better secure its border with North Macedonia.
The minister’s remarks came after delegations from the three countries met in the Serbian capital, Belgrade.
“It is in our common interest to move the defence line to the south, and for this reason we agreed to join efforts,” Serbian media quoted Szijjarto as saying.
“There has been an explosion in the number of migrants, and it can already be compared to 2015,” when more than a million people entered Europe, he added.
This comes after a meeting between the leaders of Austria, Hungary and Serbia earlier this week on developing a joint strategy to curb immigration.
Migrants from Asia, Africa and the Middle East who manage to reach Greece from Turkiye move north along the Balkan route towards North Macedonia and then to Serbia before reaching the borders of EU members Hungary or Croatia.
Trips are long and often dangerous.
The death toll from two migrant boats that capsized off the Greek coast yesterday rose to 21, with many still missing.
In 2016 Hungary erected a fence along its border with Serbia to stop illegal crossings and has faced criticism for its anti-immigration policies.
Source : Middle East Monitor