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Fighting Terrorism: Hungary Considers Sending Troops To Kurdistan

Tamás Székely 2015.02.24.

Hungary is considering boosting its role in international efforts to fight terrorism. Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said Hungary should increase its contribution to the international coalition fighting terrorism and the terrorist organisation Islamic State (ISIS) in particular. Addressing lawmakers before a parliamentary session, Szijjártó said Hungary could realistically add to efforts to help create military stability in Kurdistan. He said allies were setting up training bases in Kurdistan and these must be secured.

A decision on a Hungarian role in the mission should be made after talks with parliamentary parties, taking into consideration Hungary’s budgetary capabilities, risk-taking potential and defence capabilities, Szijjártó said. He noted that ISIS is a threat to global security and to the stability of the entire region of the Middle East. It also threatens the “very existence” of Christian communities in the region, he said. After the events of the recent past, including attacks in Paris and Copenhagen, it is clear that “a terrorist threat upon us has never been so direct and near as now”, Szijjártó insisted.

Zsolt Németh, head of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, said Hungary must take its part in military efforts against the ISIS. Fidesz lawmakers await the government’s proposal on the matter, he added. Imre Vejkey, of the co-ruling Christian Democrats, asked the government to do everything it can to protect the lives of “the millions of innocents”. Márton Gyöngyösi, a lawmaker for the radical nationalist Jobbik party, expressed his party’s support for the government’s plans. He said that, in addition to Christians, Muslims are also exposed to ISIS attacks.

Attila Mesterházy, a lawmaker of the Socialist Party, called on the foreign minister to resign over the “chaos and isolationism” apparent in Hungary’s foreign policy. András Schiffer, head of the LMP party’s parliamentary group, said he shared Mesterházy’s concerns over isolation and suggested that Hungary should work closely with other European Union member states on establishing where ISIS gets its financial, manpower and technical resources to build on. He called for five-party talks on a strategy against terrorism.

via hungarymatters.hu photo: Tibor Illyés – MTI