Sarajevo, March 2 (MTI) – The United States can continue to rely on Hungary in the fight against terrorism and in strengthening NATO’s European arm, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Thursday after a phone conversation with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Szijjártó told MTI by phone that Tillerson thanked Hungary for its participation in the fight against terrorism. Hungary is proud to be one of two dozen countries to have sent soldiers to fight in the war against Islamic State and plans to maintain its involvement, Szijjártó added.
“The Hungarian government agrees with the Republican president [Donald Trump] that NATO should have been far more successful and it should have done far more already in the fight against terrorism, because global security is currently threatened not by a state but by a terrorist organization, the Islamic State,” Szijjártó said.
Tillerson invited his Hungarian counterpart to Washington, DC on March 21, when the foreign ministers of the coalition against IS will meet and discuss the future of the fight against terrorism.
The ministers also discussed the issue of Russia. Szijjártó said it is in Hungary’s interest that Russia and the US should maintain well-balanced and pragmatic relations “because whenever conflict developed between the East and the West … Europe and eastern Europe were the ones to suffer.” Budapest hopes that the new US administration and Russian leaders will be on better terms than previously, he added.
The two politicians were in agreement that security, democracy, and stability have the greatest influence on any country’s economic competitiveness and development.
Szijjártó noted to Tillerson that as a result of recent developments in the investment environment in Hungary, as many as 1,650 US companies are present in Hungary, employing a total of more than 100,000 people. The value of US investment in Hungary exceeds 9 billion dollars, he added.
Szijjártó congratulated his counterpart on the new US administration, adding that the Hungarian government had supported the Republicans during the campaign because Trump’s programme included several issues that stood closer to Hungarian policies. Tillerson said that the US is a great friend of Hungary’s.