Hungary is committed to maintaining its support for Afghanistan’s stability and it will continue to station 113 troops there and contribute half a million US dollars a year to the costs of the NATO mission in the coming two years, Hungary’s Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó told a NATO ministerial session in Brussels. Maintaining stability in Afghanistan is tied to efforts to curtail the number of migrants setting off for Europe, he said. “If need be, Hungary is prepared to prolong its contribution for the consecutive years, too” he added.
The more stable Afghanistan is the fewer migrants head off to Europe, he said, adding that Hungary will give the NATO mission every possible help to stabilise Afghanistan and prevent migration. The ministers are examining how NATO can get involved in operations against the Islamic State terrorist organisation and strengthen stability in the Middle East and north Africa. One way would be to strengthen the defence capabilities of partner countries in the region, he said. Hungary is contributing to the latter effort by training Jordanian bomb demolition experts, Szijjártó said.
At the end of November, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg paid an official visit to Budapest, expressing his gratitude for Hungary’s participation in the Baltic air-policing mission and for its contribution to the missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo. Stoltenberg said he welcomed the Hungarian government’s announcement to increase its defence budget. Commenting the migration crisis is, he said that “we could guaranteeing our own defence if we treat the problem at its root: in the region which is home to the migrants, with a political solution to the conflicts of the region.”
via hungarymatters.hu and MTI photo: MTI/kormany.hu