By Betul Yuruk
NEW YORK (AA) - Hungarian foreign minister said that whatever happens in the Middle East has an "immediate impact" on Europe, saying more conflicts in the region means more security threats Europe has to face.
"We definitely are concerned because what we have learned in the recent years was whatever happens in the Middle East, whatever happens in Syria, whatever happens in Libya and in the any other neighboring regions of the European continent, have an immediate impact on the entire European security," Peter Szijjarto told Anadolu Agency in New York.
"So the more conflicts there are in and around Syria, the more escalation we are faced with, the more security threats we have to be faced within Europe," Szijjarto said.
He stressed that Turkey has fulfilled its obligations and held the migratory flows under control so far, in line with the deal with the EU to stop the illegal migratory flows towards Europe.
"And we have the concern that in case of Turkey is not going to be in a position to continue to do so, then what kind of impact it would put on Europe?" he said, adding that the scenario should be discussed by the authorities to figure it out "if any participation or any other role NATO should play in this region given the fact that Turkey is a NATO member."
He emphasized that this has not been on the agenda yet.
Szijjarto said the EU "must be much more active in tackling the so-called root causes and helping those countries which are around the war-torn areas."
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The minister said that "no unanimity and no consensus" is currently reached by EU member states on Turkey's future membership.
"We respect Turkey a lot and that's why I don't really would like to see this hypocritical game being played around with Turkey," Szijjarto said.
He called on members, who think that Turkey cannot be an EU member in the foreseeable future, to say it directly to open the door for other solutions.
Saying that Hungary can enhance a special partnership with Turkey, Szijjarto added: "There's one thing which we must not leave out of consideration, Turkey's economy will be among the world's top 10 economies soon. Turkey is the country with maybe the biggest population or is among the countries with the biggest population in Europe. So population-wise, economy-wise, we have a very strong country in the neighborhood of the European Union."
The top diplomat also said that Hungary is open to widening defense cooperation with NATO ally Turkey.
"We have been proven reliable partners to each other. I think I can be brave enough to say that and so far, whatever we have agreed upon worked out. So no reason not to think about further possibilities to enhance our cooperation, of course not only on the field of defense cooperation but we have many other issues," he said.
Szijjarto added that Hungary and Turkey already have been planning joint trade missions into Africa, where Hungarian and Turkish companies work together and submit applications for tenders in African countries.
*Beyza Binnur Donmez in Ankara contributed to the story.