The foreign ministers of the Visegrád Group emphasized the importance of greater cooperation with Turkey regarding the current migration crisis during a press conference on Tuesday following a ministerial meeting.
Those in attendance included the new Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský and Turkey’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoglu.
In remarks reported by the MTI news agency, Lipavský highlighted the key role that Turkey must play in solving the migration crisis, a viewpoint echoed by his Hungarian counterpart, Péter Szijjártó, who called on the European Union to pay Ankara the €6 billion it had pledged to partly cover the expenditure incurred by the Turks to stem the flow of illegal immigration from the Middle East. According to Szijjártó, Turkey’s total expenses were in excess of €40 billion.
In addition to appreciating Turkey’s role, Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau revealed that ministers had also discussed migration both in the context of the current situation in Afghanistan and the crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border. He acknowledged that all V4 countries had supported Poland by offering assistance through equipment and the provision of police or military forces.
Moreover, Rau called for the European Union to take additional measures and sanctions on the Belarusian government for its recent transgressions — its leader Alexander Lukashenko stands accused of deliberately provoking a migration crisis out of revenge for sanctions imposed on the country for his administration’s brutal repression of political opponents.