Pristina (MTI) – Hungary has no plan to further increase the number of soldiers serving in the KFOR mission in Kosovo, Defence Minister Csaba Hende said on Friday.
Earlier this year the Hungarian contingent was reinforced by 150 soldiers.
“Stability in the Western Balkan is Hungary’s national interest. For this reason, our country is represented by a significant force of some 500 soldiers in the international peacekeeping missions in Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina,” Hende said after meeting Hungarian peacekeepers at a staff meeting in KFOR’s headquarters in Pristina.
He said that after withdrawal from Afghanistan, Hungary has reallocated its forces to beef up its contingent in Kosovo.
“The Hungarian contingent is the fifth largest within KFOR and the third largest in Bosnia-Herzegovina,” Hende said.
“All this demonstrates that Hungary attributes great significance to the region. Absence of peace and security in the Western Balkan would threaten Europe with a flood of refugees, illegal migration and organised crime,” he said.
In the framework of NATO, the EU and the UN, Hungary is involved in peacekeeping missions in ten countries around the world, Hende added.
More than 700 Hungarian peacekeepers are serving in foreign missions, including 350 in NATO’s KFOR mission and nearly 150 in the EU-managed EUFOR ALTHEA mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Hende is visiting the Hungarian peacekeepers in Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina between November 14 and 16.
Photo: MTI – Szilard Koszticsak