Hungary Commends Egypt's Moves to Prevent Illegals From Leaving for Europe

Hungary Commends Egypt's Moves to Prevent Illegals From Leaving for Europe

Hungarian foreign minister Peter Szijjártó has praised the Egyptian government for its commitment to stopping illegal migrants who wish to depart from its coast for Europe.

Minister Szijjarto made his comments on a trip to Cairo this week, stating that he wanted to see the European Union offer Egypt more support to prevent the departure of illegal immigrants from its shores.

“Six years ago, Egypt managed to close its maritime borders, preventing waves of illegal migration from reaching Europe. We appreciate this,” Szijjarto stated at a press conference, the EU-funded website InfoMigrants reports.

According to InfoMigrants, around six million migrants and refugees are currently within Egypt, at least half of whom come from Sudan and South Sudan.

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While Egypt has maintained tough restrictions on illegal immigrants using its coast as a departure point to Europe, Egyptian nationals have been one of the larger groups of migrants heading illegally from other countries in North Africa, mainly to Italy.

According to UNHCR statistics, so far this year, Egyptians were the second-largest group of illegals arriving in Italy, and were as of the 31st of January accounting for nearly one in every five migrants arriving in the country, behind Bangladeshis who represent nearly one in three illegal arrivals.

Egyptians have also allegedly been involved in the smuggling of migrants to Italy, with Italian police arresting three Egyptian nationals accused of human trafficking last month, along with another man from Guinea.

“All of them violated the rules provided for by the Consolidated Law on Illegal Immigration by transporting non-EU citizens to Italian territory, for which the status of irregular foreigners was then ascertained, leading them from the African coasts to Italian territorial waters, onboard boats unsuitable to make the crossing,” investigators in Sicily said last month.

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Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)

Chris Tomlinson