AP – Hungary’s Prime Minister Victor Orban on Tuesday thanked Egypt for its role in capping Europe-bound migration as the two countries inked a series of preliminary agreements in Cairo.
Orban’s praise for Egypt, and its president, Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, came during his visit to the Egyptian capital in which the two governments signed various memorandums of understanding in nuclear cooperation, education and sports. Few further details were immediately given about the deals.
In a joint media conference following the signings, Orban spoke of a need to reduce East-West divisions in Europe. In return, Sissi praised Orban’s understanding of the region, describing the relationship between Egypt and Hungary as a “role model”.
“We don’t want the world to be populated by homeless migrants who have been separated from their homeland,” Orban said, according to Hungarian state media. ”For its work, Europe owes Egypt its thanks, respect and support.”
Sissi’s government has in recent years upgraded border security, preventing the North African country from becoming a major departure point for Europe-bound migrants like neighbouring Libya. Orban made similar praises of Egypt’s capping of European-bound migration in a visit he made to Cairo last year.
In a tweet posted after the media conference, Orban said both countries were on the “side of peace” regarding the Ukraine conflict.
Egypt, like several other Arab countries, has remained neutral in the conflict despite pressure from its western allies.
Relations between Egypt and Hungary have remained strong since Sissi came to power in 2013.