“Hungary supports all initiatives aimed at developing European defence capabilities”, Minister of Defence Tibor Benkő said on Monday in Luxembourg at a joint meeting of European Union foreign and defence ministers.

In a statement issued to Hungarian news agency MTI, the Ministry of Defence quoted Mr. Benkő, who also added that he regards avoiding “duplications with NATO”, respecting national sovereignty and the joint financing of stabilising and anti-terrorism operations as important aspects.

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During the first session of the meeting, the foreign and defence minister jointly reviewed recent developments within the field of joint security and defence policy. In addition to Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), they discussed issues relating to the European Defence Fund, EU defence capability development activities, and regular military operation planning and command capabilities, the statement reads.

Following the meeting, the Minister of Defence told the press: “Hungary regards a flexible approach, transparency and the possible involvement of third countries as especially important”.

During the second session of the meeting, the EU foreign and defence ministers were joined by the NATO Secretary General. “Hungary regards the harmonisation of efforts within the fields of stopping illegal migration, increasing capacities in the Western Balkans, the fight against terrorism and military mobility as particularly important”, the Minister stressed.

“At the meeting, the defence and foreign ministers agreed that joint EU security and defence policy cooperation must be tightened further, particularly within the fields of illegal migration and the fight against terrorism”, the Ministry of Defence statement reads.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)