Washington, DC, April 1 (MTI) – Hungary’s government takes the threat of terrorism seriously and has addressed the issue appropriately, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told Hungarian public media in Washington, DC on Friday.
The prime minister is in the US capital for the fourth Nuclear Security Summit.
Asked by MTI about a recent article by The Washington Times quoting the Islamic State as saying it could target Hungary in the future, the prime minister said it was “impossible not to take such a threat seriously”. He said Hungary was discussing the potential threat with the relevant US and European Union authorities. “Over the past few days Hungary’s police force, secret service and counter terrorism service have done everything they could to strengthen the country’s security.”
Orbán expressed hope that the government’s planned anti-terrorism measures would win the backing of the opposition parties. He said he generally had “a better opinion” of Hungary’s political leaders, including those of the opposition, than the general public and said he expected that a consensus would eventually be reached on the counter-terrorism bill.
Speaking about the nuclear security summit, Orbán said the event had reassured Hungary that the industrial nations would continue using nuclear energy until at least the next century. It has been made clear that the most developed countries are not reducing their nuclear capacity but rather increasing it, he said.
Orbán called it a significant accomplishment on Hungary’s part that it is considered one of the few countries that are highly developed in terms of their use of nuclear energy, and have excellent training programmes for nuclear power activities and exceptionally advanced safety standards in place.
The prime minister touched on Hungary’s planned developments in the field of nuclear energy saying that there were plans to cooperate with France and the other three Visegrad Four countries in the sector. Orbán stressed that the government’s top priority when it comes to the generation and use of nuclear energy is safety, arguing that nuclear plants are also exposed to the threat of terrorism. One of the focal points of the conference was planning ways to counter those threats through international cooperation.
Orbán held bilateral talks on Friday morning, with the first of his meetings being with Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili. He said that Hungarian-Georgian economic cooperation which looked “very promising” a few years ago is now facing challenges due to Russia’s economic difficulties. The prime minister noted, however, that Hungary’s Eximbank had opened a credit line to support business activities between Hungarian and Georgian companies, which he said would boost bilateral economic ties. He reiterated Hungary’s support for enabling Georgian citizens to enter the European Union without a visa.