Europe must significantly strengthen the protection of its borders and intensify its preparations against terrorism, the Hungarian foreign minister said on Tuesday in Malaga, southern Spain, saying that the increased activity of the terrorist group Islamic State and radicalization resulting from impending food shortages could pose a significant threat to the continent.
Europe faces a number of security challenges, Péter Szijjártó told a UN counter-terrorism conference, according to a foreign ministry statement, citing the war in Ukraine and instability in the southern neighborhood of the continent. Europe must not let the war in Ukraine completely distract its attention from what is happening in its south, the minister said.
Szijjártó said the war in Ukraine also posed a significant challenge in terms of countering terrorism after the Islamic State called on its supporters to take advantage of the war and stage attacks in Europe.
Another important factor, he said, is that Russia and Ukraine account for 15-16% of global grain exports, which are expected to drop significantly in the coming months.
This will cause food supply problems in places where the security situation is already unstable, Szijjártó said. This could cause further destabilization in Africa and some countries in the Middle East, leading to the spread of extremist ideologies and terrorism, he added.
The minister said that the UN’s counter-terrorism efforts should be significantly strengthened, otherwise Europe would face serious terrorist threats in the near future. Szijjártó said the UN should allocate more financial resources to the fight against terrorism.
Szijjártó also said that the international community should focus on creating local security conditions instead of encouraging people in danger to leave their homes. This would prevent the emergence of new waves of migration, he said.
Photo courtesy of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI