The Hungarian Government firmly condemned the recent terrorist attack committed on 18 March in the Bardo Museum in Tunis against innocent civilians and foreign tourists. The Foreign Minister expressed sympathy with the families of the victims. Péter Szijjártó also expressed solidarity with the Tunisian government and offered Hungary’s help in connection with the attack, in which 19 people, including 17 foreign tourists, were killed earlier on Wednesday. No Hungarian victims have been reported. György Pántos, Hungary’s ambassador to Tunisia, said that no Hungarian tourists were at the Bardo Museum in central Tunis at the time of the attack.
The Foreign Minister also said that the government would take a decision concerning Hungary’s military participation in the international coalition’s fight against the Islamic State once consultations between parliamentary parties have been concluded. “As far as I can see, achieving a two-thirds support by lawmakers for participation is a realistic scenario,” Péter Szijjártó told journalists ahead of a closed-door meeting of the defence and national security committees. Opposition lawmakers have also indicated their support for the mission, he said.
A joint meeting of the two committees has been called to allow lawmakers to hear details about the security aspects of the planned Hungarian mission from the heads of the Information Office, the anti-terrorism force TEK and the national military security services, Szijjártó said. The issue here is about deploying Hungarian troops in a foreign country to serve on a mission of countering an attack against Western values, he said. “If there is any issue of national importance, this one is such,” he said. Zsolt Németh, the foreign affairs committee’s chairman representing ruling Fidesz, said on Tuesday that he expected an approval of the mission, noting that Együtt and the Hungarian Liberal Party have stated support.
via hungarymatters.hu and kormany.hu photo: Zsolt Szigetváry – MTI