The government submitted on Wednesday a draft resolution to increase Hungary’s military presence and extend its mission in Iraq to contribute to the international fight against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organisation.
Hungary joined the international mission at the request of the United States with parliamentary approval in 2015. The country then undertook to contribute a contingent of 150 troops serving on a rotational basis in Iraq until the end of this year. The draft resolution calls for increasing the number of troops to 200 per shift and extending the deadline of the overall mission by two years, until December 31, 2019. Defence Minister István Simicskó noted that Hungary had sent a military contingent to serve in the Erbil training centre’s region in northern Iraq in August 2015.
The 142-strong Hungarian contingent has “successfully fulfilled its capacity-building and security related duties,” he said, adding that the international coalition had requested additional capacities. Simicskó said improving the situation in Iraq and making further contributions to assist the stabilisation of Iraq was unequivocally in Hungary’s interest, in line with the country’s “security and defence policy interests and endeavours aimed at staunching illegal migration”.
The resolution requires approval by two-thirds of lawmakers to pass.
photos: kdnp.hu; kormany.hu / Péter Snoj