The Hungarian defence minister welcomed the United States’ approach toward fighting against terrorism and resolving crises in other countries, and said that the positions of the US and Hungary were “mostly identical”.
István Simicskó spoke during a break between sessions of a meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels on Wednesday, and said that both the US and Hungary think that “a greater military presence is required in crisis zones and peace should be ensured as soon as possible so that local residents can stay and prosper in their homelands”. Simicskó called the Brussels meeting “historic” and said that remarks by James Mattis, the US Secretary of Defense, have “set new directions” for NATO.
Simicskó Those remarks suggest that the US will be “even more committed” to jointly strengthening NATO, but it will expect greater financial contributions from its allies. The minister reaffirmed Hungary’s commitment to increasing its defence spending to at least 2% of GDP. Hungary aims to reach this target as soon as possible, he said. He said the ministers were in agreement that NATO had been effective in addressing threats from the east, but had also concluded that the alliance would have to step up its fight against terrorism. He said the US could be expected to get tougher on “radical Islam”, while adding that ground operations had not been discussed at the meeting.
Regarding NATO-Russia relations, Simicskó insisted that the alliance would have to engage in dialogue with Moscow. He added, at the same time, that NATO must also carry on with its policy of deterrence.
via: hungarymatters.hu; english.mti.hu
photos: nato.int; 24.hu