As part of the general boost of the Hungarian armed forces, the network of military attache offices will be expanded, the minister of defence said on Tuesday in Budapest.
Speaking on the sidelines of the annual meeting of military, defence and air force attaches, István Simicskó said the Hungarian army and military diplomacy had been in a “dive” since the end of the Communist era. Several attache offices have been closed since, a trend the government now seeks to turn around, he said. The Zagreb office was reopened last year and offices in Bratislava and Prague are to open this year, while those in Vienna and Skopje will open in 2018, he said.
Speaking of global security challenges such as Brexit, the migration crisis and terrorism, Simicskó said that the central European nations are aware of the challenges and offer similar ways for the defence of European security. Hungary’s migration policy is similar to that of the United States, and the two countries make a similar approach to the dangers of migration and to the fight against terrorism. Hungary’s parliament has recently voted to expand and prolong Hungarian participation in the coalition against the terrorist organisation Islamic State, he noted.
Simicskó cited the ten-year military revamping programme, Zrínyi 2026, as an occasion to prepare the Hungarian military for modern warfare. The plan includes areas like air cargo, helicopter capabilities, air defence and cyber defence as well as the armament industry and the renovation and expansion of the Budapest military hospital, the minister said.
Simicskó expressed hope that the revamped Hungarian armed forces would continue to strengthen both the European Union and NATO.