* Orban says moral thing is to tell refugees: don't come
* Hungary does not want Muslim immigrants, due to history
* PM defends razor-wire fence on border with Serbia
* Ready to do similar on Croatia frontier if migrants come
(Adds remarks on Muslims, Croatia border, quotas)
By Alastair Macdonald
BRUSSELS, Sept 3 Refugees should not risk their
children's lives trying to reach Europe, Hungarian Prime
Minister Viktor Orban said on Thursday as he defended his tough
approach to border control on the frontline of Europe's
Orban, who also insisted Hungary did not want to accept
Muslim refugees, was asked on a visit to Brussels about an image
of a drowned Syrian child on a Turkish beach which has grabbed
world attention this week and said that it was not a moral
argument for opening Europe's doors.
"If we would create ... an impression that 'just come
because we are ready to accept everybody', that would be a moral
failure. The moral, human thing is to make clear: Please don't
come," Orban told reporters.
"Turkey is a safe country. Stay there. It's risky to come.
It's better for the family, for the kids, for yourself to stay."
In a later news conference, he said the history of Ottoman
rule meant Hungarians would not accept large-scale Muslim
immigration, a point made recently by neighbouring Slovakia.
"We don't want to, and I think we have a right to decide
that we do not want a large number of Muslim people in our
country," Orban said. "We do not like the consequences of having
a large number of Muslim communities that we see in other
countries and I do not see any reason for anyone else to force
us to create ways of living together in Hungary that we do not
want to see. That is a historical experience for us."
In a pugnacious performance typical of a right-wing leader
who has often clashed with liberal sentiment in Brussels, Orban
rejected criticism of the razor-wire fence he has thrown up
along the European Union's external frontier with Serbia.
He said he was ready to do the same on the border with
Croatia, an EU member but outside the Schengen open-border area,
if migrants started to try and cross into Hungary from there.
"We Hungarians are full of fear, people in Europe are full
of fear because they see that the European leaders ... are not
able to control the situation," Orban said after meeting
European Parliament President Martin Schulz, as hundreds of
migrants pushed onto trains in Budapest hoping to head west.
Orban said his government was determined to apply EU rules
on preventing people from crossing the bloc's external border
except at controlled checkpoints, and to register and identify
all those who arrived to claim asylum. Hungarians feared a
failure on their part to control migrants would cause their EU
neighbours to reimpose their own border checks on Hungary.
"Hungary did everything to fulfil regulations," Orban said.
"Don't criticise Hungary for doing what is compulsory."
On Hungary's handling of thousands of people trying to reach
Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel has said all Syrians
will be taken in, he said: "The problem is not a European
problem. The problem is a German problem.
"Nobody would like to stay in Hungary ... So if the German
chancellor insists that nobody can leave Hungary without
registration towards Germany, we will register them.
"What is going on is a shame. It's chaotic, it's not
European," he added. "It's not a way to come through the green
border, going to the railway station, shouting the name of
Germany and Chancellor Merkel and forcing the Hungarian police
to let them go out of the country without registration."
Orban renewed his criticism of national quotas for taking in
asylum-seekers that has been proposed by the EU executive. Asked
whether suggestions that a new distribution system that would
remove large numbers from Hungary might convince him, he said he
had not had such an offer, but that he might consider it.
Orban also met European Council President Donald Tusk, who
appealed for greater European solidarity and more help for
Tusk took issue with remarks Orban made in a German
newspaper in which he noted that most asylum-seekers were Muslim
at a time when Europe's Christian culture was weak.
"For a Christian," Tusk said, "it shouldn't matter what
race, religion or nationality the person in need represents."
(Additional reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Mark