Defence Minister Csaba Hende has submitted a bill on Hungary’s military involvement in the international coalition against the Islamic State terrorist organisation. If parliament approves the document available on parliament’s website, it will authorise the Hungarian Armed Forces to send a contingent of up to 150 soldiers – or 300 during the replacement period – to be stationed at a training centre in Erbil in Iraq’s Kurdistan region. Under the bill, the Hungarian soldiers would fulfil their mission until December 31, 2017.
Hende noted that the United States, heading the international coalition, had “formally requested that Hungary as an ally should contribute” to securing the training base near the capital of the northern Iraqi Kurdish region. In line with the Constitution, the bill should be supported by at least two-thirds of the MPs present to enter into force. Earlier Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said that Hungary’s participation in the international coalition fighting against the Islamic State terrorist organisation would cost 20 billion forints (EUR 66m) during the first year of the mission.
The Islamic State has carried out an attack against the western community as a whole, Szijjártó said, noting that Hungary’s affiliation to this community mandates responsibilities as well. The legal framework for the international coalition’s action has been provided by two UN Security Council resolutions adopted in 2014 on anti-terrorism, he said. If parliament approves Hungary’s military involvement, Hungary will have to conclude a bilateral agreement with Iraq, Szijjártó said. If lawmakers pass a decision in April, then the first Hungarian troops could be dispatched in late May.
via hungarymatters.hu and MTI photo: Attila Kovács – MTI