Szijjártó in Phone Talks With Lebanese, Nigerian Officials


Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó on Friday said he had held phone talks with Gebran Bassil, the head of Lebanon’s Free Patriotic Movement, and Hassoumi Massoudou, his Nigerien counterpart.


Szijjártó said in a Facebook post that he had congratulated Bassil on Lebanon’s successful elections and on his party remaining the largest Christian bloc in the Beirut parliament. Lebanon’s stability and security is crucial for peace in the Middle East, Szijjártó said, adding that the local Christian community could continue to count on Hungary’s support when it comes to the renovation of churches and schools.


Meanwhile, Szijjártó discussed the importance of the security of West Africa’s Sahel region with his Nigerien counterpart. “If things aren’t going well there then masses of immigrants will set off towards Europe,” Szijjártó said. “Hungary is committed to helping establish and maintain security in the region, in the interest of our own security and calm as well,” he said. Szijjártó also said the planned European mission in Mali had been rendered impossible, even though the Hungarian Armed Forces would have contributed 80 soldiers to it. He added that he and Massoudou had discussed other ways Hungary could contribute to the region’s security. Massoudou welcomed the offer and the two countries will discuss the details of their cooperation in the future, Szijjártó said.

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