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Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto gestures during an interview with Reuters in Budapest, Hungary January 19, 2016. To match Interview EUROPE-MIGRANTS/HUNGARY-MINISTER REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh

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BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Border checks by Austria that have caused long queues on the Hungarian side of the frontier in recent days are unjustified, Hungary's Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Thursday.

Szijjarto said controls were needed on Hungary's Serbian and Croatian borders but not where it meets Austria. He said Hungary was doing its job to defend the external border of the passport-free Schengen zone to the south.

"I think what the Austrians are doing on the Hungarian-Austrian border is unjustified," he told a news conference.

Austrian border checks on lorries heading from Hungary towards western Europe have caused long queues this week. Hungarian police have responded with traffic safety checks on the Hungarian side.

(Reporting by Krisztina Than; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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