Budapest, June 15 (MTI) – Hungary will maintain its contribution to a 100-strong mission in Afghanistan next year, Tamas Vargha, state secretary at the defence ministry, said at a meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels on Wednesday.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced on Wednesday that NATO defence ministers had agreed on the need to extend the alliance’s military mission in Afghanistan until 2020 in the interest of stability in that country. A final decision on this plan is expected at the NATO summit in Warsaw.
Vargha said at the meeting that it was in Hungary’s “direct interest” that Afghanistan’s security status remains stable or improves as this would help reduce the number of migrants setting out for Europe from that country, a statement from the defence ministry said. Vargha said the meeting had been successful and NATO has yet again proven its flexibility and ability to rise up to new security challenges and threats. NATO has so far established six new command headquarters in eastern member states, including ones to be opened in Slovakia and in Hungary later this year.
The defence ministers also decided to strengthen military support for the three Baltic allies and Poland. A battalion for providing this support in each of the four countries will be set up by the other NATO member states, the ministry’s statement said.
Vargha said it was an important strategic decision to recognize cyberspace as an operational domain, a potential war zone like land, sea or air. Other issues addressed at the meeting included how NATO could contribute to the fight against terrorism in North Africa and the Middle East as well as timely issues on NATO’s nuclear policy and the defence budgets of member states.
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