Minister of Defence Dr. István Simicskó received the members of a delegation from the United States Senate, headed by Senator Richard Shelby in his office in Budapest on Wednesday.

During the talks, besides issues relating to global and regional security policy, the parties discussed military relations between the two countries and possible areas of further cooperation.

At the meeting, Dr. István Simicskó stated that the security situation of Europe has deteriorated greatly during the last five years, due to the challenges arising simultaneously from the east and south. “Terrorist attacks have become almost everyday occurrences in Europe, most of which have been carried out by migrants arriving with the wave of illegal migration, which clearly indicates that there is a connection between mass illegal migration and international terrorism. The Minister of Defence added that more than 420,000 migrants have crossed Hungary during the past two years, and with them close to 1000 potential terrorists may have arrived in Europe. Only Hungary, and later the cooperation between the countries of the Visegrád Group (V4), supplemented by our southern neighbours, has been able to stop the wave of illegal migration, which also proves that cooperation between V4 partners has gained strength to an unprecedented extent, and that this solidarity is exemplary within Europe. We can declare that Hungary is one of the safest countries in Europe. The security of Hungary and of Hungarian families, preserving European values that are based on national culture, and protecting the order of our Christian society that stems from our thousand-year-old history, is not just our duty, but also in our mutual interest”, he explained.

The United States of America is one of Hungary’s key strategic partners in the field of defence cooperation and within the alliance system. The Minister of Defence expressed thanks to our American ally for helping the Hungarian Defence Force by developing the special operations capability, in addition to providing support for education, training and development. This cooperation has been actively ongoing since 1993. “Our troops are co-deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo, and this effective military cooperation is being reinforced through regular exercises in the territory of Hungary and all over the world”, the Minister said.

The members of the Senate delegation welcomed Hungary’s commitment to the development and modernisation of the Hungarian Defence Force, and the fact that the goals of the recently launched Zrínyi 2026 National Defence and Armed Forces Development Programme include the overhaul of the volunteer reserve system, modernisation and capability development. They expressed their appreciation of Hungary’s efforts as a member of NATO to enable the continued fulfilling of its international obligations in an outstanding manner, and its pledge to increase the defence budget by 0.1 percent of the GDP every year to enable defence spending to reach 0.2 percent of GDP by 2024.

The members of the US Senate reaffirmed their support for Hungary’s planned projects within the field of the defence development, in addition to which the parties expressed hope that progress will also be made with relation to the further strengthening and developing military relations.

(Ministry of Defence)