Erbil, May 12 (MTI) – Defence Minister István Simicskó and Chief of Staff Tibor Benko have visited the Iraqi Kurdistan region and the Hungarian troops stationed there, the minister told the press on Thursday.
The Hungarian soldiers have an important role in training the local Peshmerga forces as well as in security tasks. After spending a few days in the region with a delegation Simicskó said the work of Hungarian soldiers had been praised everywhere.
Simicskó was accompanied by Lajos Kósa, the head of Fidesz’s parliamentary group, and Tamas Harangozo, the Socialist head of parliament’s defence committee. The delegation held talks with local Peshmerga leaders, the prime minister of the Regional Government of Kurdistan, the local interior minister who is in charge of defence, the foreign minister and Hungary’s ambassador to Iraq as well as the consul-general in Erbil. Simicskó said he had gained the impression during the talks that the Hungarian team has good relations with the local residents and local armed forces.
Kosa noted that one of the reasons for visiting the region was that it is a “basic principle” in Hungarian parliament to only send Hungarian troops to regions that politicians themselves visit.
Hungary joined the UN’s multinational mission fighting against the so-called Islamic State last year, after the Hungarian Parliament had endorsed the decision.