Hungary has contributed to the achievements of NATO beyond its powers and is determined to remain a dedicated ally, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Thursday, the closing day of a ministerial meeting in Washington, DC, marking NATO’s 70th anniversary.
At the meeting, Szijjártó and Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan are scheduled to sign a new Hungary-US defence agreement.
Szijjártó said Hungary has every right to be proud of its contributions to NATO’s operations over the past two decades.
Mass illegal migration and the increased threat of terrorism are significant global security risks and Hungary, as a dedicated NATO ally, has been increasing its efforts to protect the country and contribute to Europe’s security, he said. Several measures have been introduced for the modernisation of the Hungarian army and the country currently spends more than 20 percent of its defence budget on developments, he added.
Szijjártó said Hungary would increase the number of its soldiers serving abroad and fighting terrorism by 200. Budapest will send another 130 soldiers to Kosovo bringing the Hungarian contingent to 500 and will increase the number of soldiers serving in Afghanistan by 70, he added.
As a result, a total of 1,200 Hungarians will serve in Afghanistan, contributing to the success of NATO and other allied missions there, Szijjártó said.
He told the meeting that the new Hungary-US defence agreement was the “modernised version” of a similar agreement signed over twenty years ago. Security circumstances changed significantly in recent decades and the new agreement will significantly contribute to guaranteeing Hungary’s security and to NATO remaining the most successful and strongest military alliance, he said.
Featured image: MTI/EPA