“Everything must be done in the interests of assuring that NATO remains the most successful defensive alliance in world history in future, particularly in view of the fact that the new technologies being used by terrorist organisations mean the appearance of a new dimension of challenges”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Wednesday in London.

Mr. Szijjártó, who was attending a summit in London convened to mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), told Hungarian public media at the site of the meeting: “Far from ceasing, illegal migration processes are becoming stronger, and particularly in the Western Balkans, and this is also making terrorist organisations stronger”. “Uncontrolled waves of migration are creating an opportunity for terrorist organisations to spread their extremist ideologies all over the world, together with their terrorists. This is why it is important that NATO is not just looking to the east, but also to the south”, Mr. Szijjártó said.

“Hungary agrees with the fact that NATO must adapt to these new kinds of challenges, and requires new instruments to find suitable responses to these challenges”, he declared.

“In this spirit, Hungary is making further undertakings to assure that NATO can continue to take strong action against terrorism in future”, the Minister stated. “There are currently 395 Hungarian soldiers stationed in Kosovo, and Hungary is supplementing this contingent by a further one hundred, meaning there will be almost five hundred Hungarian soldiers taking part in the fight against terrorism in the Western Balkans”, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade stated. “Hungary is increasing its 110-person contingent in Afghanistan by a further 80 military personnel in the interests of also taking action against the proliferation of extremist ideologies and violence in the region, which is often referred to as the cradle of terrorism”, Mr. Szijjártó said.

“Over the next four years Hungary will continue to provide half a million dollars-a-year in funding for Afghan national security and defence forces in the interests of enabling the stabilisation of the situation in the region”, he added. “In addition, in the spirit of solidarity with the Baltic states, it has been decided that Hungarian Gripen fighters will once again be taking part in the defence of Baltic airspace from 2022”, the Minister said. “It is extremely important to Hungary that it should continue to contribute to a significant extent to NATO joint operations, and through these undertakings it is doing just that”, he added.

In reply to a question from Hungarian news agency MTI concerning the fact that there is strong pressure on the other NATO member states from the United States to realise the minimum defence spending goal of 2 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), Mr. Szijjártó said: “Hungary made two undertakings at the Wales summit with relation this issue, and it is taking both of them seriously”. “One of Hungary’s undertakings is that it must achieve the 2 percent of GDP defence spending target by 2024, and Hungary will be achieving this goal by then. A clear plan has been drawn up with relation to this, which Hungary duly submitted to NATO, and no criticism of the plan was voiced by the organisation”, he said. “The other Hungarian undertaking was that Hungary will be spending 20 percent of its defence expenditure on development, and this goal has already been achieved this year: 23.5 percent of defence spending is being provided by development projects, clearly thanks to the Zrinyi 2026 Defence Force and Military Development Programme”, Mr. Szijjártó said at the NATO summit in London.