Minister of Defence Tibor Benkő paid a visit to Hungarian troops stationed in Pristina, Kosovo, on Monday, alongside Romulusz Ruszin-Szendi, Commander of the Hungarian Armed Forces, and Hungarian Ambassador to Kosovo József Bencze.
Benkő told the peacekeepers that their task was challenging and involved risks. As Christmas approached, the soldiers faced the hardship of spending the holiday away from their loved ones, he added.
The soldiers are stationed at two camps in Kosovo and form the largest KFOR contingent.
Benkő emphasised the importance to Hungary of maintaining peace and security in the Western Balkans.
On the subject of coronavirus vaccination, Benkő noted the inoculation rate of the ministry and the Hungarian Armed Forces currently stands at 96 percent.
Citing that tense standoff between Kosovo and Serbia in September, the minister told journalists that peace in the Balkans was still fragile. Also, the Western Balkans is a major route for illegal migration, he noted.
Ruszin-Szendi noted that Hungarian soldiers have been serving abroad for decades but the current mission in Kosovo was especially important, adding that it was the first time that a Hungarian commander, Ferenc Kajári, is heading the KFOR mission.
He said the KFOR alliance, locals and the whole world could now witness the work of the Hungarian Armed Forces, and he called on the soldiers to ensure Hungary remained a powerful force in the region.
featured image via Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI