Hungary’s role in NATO is more significant than ever, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Sunday, ahead of a summit of the North-Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
Szijjártó told a press conference in Brussels that Hungary is slated to take over the leadership of KFOR, NATO’s operation in Kosovo and the alliance’s largest operation on land, in November.
Hungary has raised the number of its troops to 500 men in Kosovo and has pledged to coordinate KFOR staff’s vaccination against the coronavirus, he said. Meanwhile, it is providing ventilators for its “partners in the east and south” through NATO’s coronavirus relief fund, he said.
Hungary will also play a leading role in a joint air defence operation in the Baltic states next year, he said.
Honouring a commitment made at the 2014 NATO summit,
Hungary will raise its defence spending to 2 percent of GDP by 2024,
Szijjártó said. Defence spending will come to 1.6 percent of GDP in 2021 and 1.87 percent in 2022, he added.
The summit is held at a time of shifting political and economic relations which warrant a new approach from the alliance, Szijjártó said.
“Those changes have significant security aspects, and so Hungary supports the new NATO 2030 strategy,” he said.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Brussels on Sunday, ahead of a NATO summit, the prime minister’s press chief told MTI on Sunday.
Orbán and Erdogan discussed bilateral military and defence industry cooperation and strengthening economic and trade ties.
The Hungarian and Turkish foreign ministers, Peter Szijjarto and Mevlut Cavusoglu, also attended the meeting.