Each nation has a duty to guarantee its own security, the defence minister said at a session of the Hungarian Atlantic Council (MAT) on Thursday.
Tibor Benkő noted it was commonly accepted that NATO, which Hungary joined in 1999, “will protect us”. But NATO’s capability depends on the individual capabilities of its members, he added. NATO’s founding treaty, Article 3 of the Washington Treaty, states that each member of the alliance has a duty to build and maintain the strength and capability in the service of its own defence and that of the alliance, he noted.
NATO had two vulnerable flanks:
to the east and to the south. Hungary, he added, was affected from both directions, and this was the reason why the government in 2016 established the aim for Hungary to have a strong, capable army equipped with the latest military equipment, with dedicated and loyal soldiers serving their country.
Meanwhile, FM Péter Szijjártó said in New York that the world must join forces to fight the coronavirus pandemic. But it requires cooperation based on mutual trust and respect, he added. According to a statement from the foreign ministry, Szijjártó attended an online event organised on the sidelines of the 76th United Nations General Assembly, and highlighted the close interdependence between countries, which the past 18 months of the pandemic had highlighted. He said
the virus was a common enemy, and cooperation in the areas of health care and medical research was a shared interest.
“Vaccines save lives,” he said, adding that ideological or political approaches to various medical products should be rejected. On another subject, he said that Hungary had felt the impact of conflicts between East and West throughout history, and called for a pragmatic cooperation between the two sides.