NATO will step up its engagement in the fight against the Islamic State terrorist organisation with a focus on training, Péter Szijjártó, the foreign minister, said after meeting NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday.
Szijjártó told MTI that Stoltenberg had expressed his appreciation for Hungary’s role in the organisation. Hungary has deployed 200 soldiers in the international coalition fighting IS, some of whom are carrying out training, he noted.
“I assured the Secretary-General that Hungary will contribute to NATO’s counter-terrorism efforts not only in words but in action, and we will continue to do everything in our power to protect the security of our country and European citizens,” he said.
He said the government had a clear plan to raise the country’s defence spending to 2 percent of GDP according to the promised timeframe.
The country’s defence modernisation programme, which recently began, will play a major role in this, he said.
Szijjártó said that at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers on Friday, the NATO-Ukraine ministerial committee would not be taking place due to Hungary’s veto. He said Ukraine had “brutally” violated the rights of Hungarian and other minorities living in the country against both its bilateral and international obligations. “Hungary cannot support Ukraine’s further aspirations for Euro-Atlantic integration” until it changes its stance, he said.
featured image: MTI
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