“Hungary regards Afghanistan as a strategic ally in the fight against terrorism and extremism”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared in Geneva on Wednesday at a ministerial-level conference on the situation in Afghanistan.

He referred to the terrorist attack in Kabul last week and highlighted that in recent years the threat of terrorism in Europe has also increased to previously unseen levels. “The events in Afghanistan also prove that the fight against terrorism and extremist ideologies must be stepped-up”, he emphasised.

Mr. Szijjártó also assured the Afghan leadership that they can count on Hungary’s support in their efforts to establish internal stability. He highlighted President Ashraf Ghani’s efforts to achieve national accord, including in the interests of resolving the conflict with the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban, who are fighting against the government.

“Hungary is continuing to take part in NATO support programmes in Afghanistan, and in financially supporting the Afghan security forces”, he added, announcing that another 30-man Hungarian contingent will be arriving in the country early next year and joining the 106 soldiers already stationed there. The Minister also pointed out the 500 thousand dollars in funding being provided by the Hungarian Government.

“Hungary is also ready to provide further impetus to economic, trade and cultural relations with Afghanistan, as soon as the security situation makes this possible”, he highlighted.

The international community has held a ministerial-level meeting on Afghanistan every two years since 2012. Previous meetings were also donor conferences asking for financial pledges, but the current meeting concentrated mainly on political developments, the state of reforms and the progress made with relation to previously launched strategies. According to plan, a donor conference will next be held in 2020.