Hungarian President János Áder held talks with Thomas P. Bostick, Chief of Engineers of the US Army (USACE), in Budapest. Bostick is in Hungary to attend the conference of the European Water Association (EWA) held from March 4 to 6. The sides were in agreement that defence and military cooperation is a major pillar of US-Hungary relations. The meeting was also attended by the new US ambassador, Colleen Bell.
Thomas Bostick also met the Hungarian defence minister. Csaba Hende briefed the US Lt.-Gen. about recent flood defence operations carried out in Hungary and disaster management efforts during the toxic red sludge spill in western Hungary in 2010, the ministry said. He outlined the planned development of the Pápa military airbase in western Hungary into a logistics hub.
Meanwhile radical nationalist Jobbik party criticizes harshly the Hungarian government’s defence policy. Hungary is putting scarce resources into fulfilling NATO missions abroad in order to be “good boys” within the alliance, Jobbik MP Gábor Staudt said, adding that Hungary should have its own, independent, defence capability. The opposition politician said that Hungary’s undertakings abroad did not advance the country’s real security, and it should stay out of any missions which could end up targeting terrorist actions. Staudt criticised spending on Hungary’s NATO missions in Afghanistan and its air defence undertakings over the Baltics.
via MTI and hungarymatters.hu photo: Noémi Bruzák – MTI