Budapest, April 20 (MTI) – Budapest’s National Public Service University (Nemzeti Közszolgálati Egyetem) officially opened a US Studies Research Centre at its Faculty of International and European Studies on Thursday.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, US Embassy Charge d’Affaires David J. Kostelancik said the US is interested in strengthening both its economic and security relations with Hungary in the long term.
The basic values of the United States such as freedom of speech and religion have not changed with the inauguration of the new president, Donald Trump, and they will not change in the future either, embedded as they are in the constitution, he said.
He said Hungary’s NATO membership was a declaration of the two countries’ agreement that freedom, prosperity, the media, strong civil societies and the autonomy of higher education must be protected. He said the new research centre was built on values as opposed to the constant analysis of costs and benefits.
Kostelancik said he was certain that the research centre would help preserve the two countries’ positive values and their diplomatic dialogue. He added that Hungarian academic life had a good reputation around the world.
The charge d’affaires said US-Hungary cooperation also extends to joint military trainings. Washington has given more than 200 million dollars to Hungary’s military since 1993 and has trained thousands of its soldiers in the US, Kostelancik said.
He also talked about common threats and challenges facing the two countries, noting, among others, Russian aggression, terrorism and the spread of nuclear weapons.
National Public Service University Rector Andras Patyi said the size of its population and its economic power made the US a central player in the global security system. He said the US had played a key role in shaping the security of central and eastern Europe.
Deputy Chief of Defence of the Hungarian Armed Forces Zoltan Orosz called US-Hungarian military cooperation a success story. He said the Hungarian Armed Forces have been working together with the Ohio National Guard since 1993, adding that they have organised more than 150 joint programmes since then.
As part of the official opening of the research centre, a roundtable discussion was held on the recent past and future of Hungarian-US defence and security cooperation.