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Dec 12, 2018

Hungary supports UN efforts to stop illicit trade in small arms and light weapons

“The threat of terrorism has never been this high in Europe and we must adapt to this challenge and focus efforts on restoring Europeans’ sense of security,” the foreign minister said

The foreign minister has confirmed Hungary’s continued contribution to the United Nations’ program aimed at stopping illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.

Speaking at a conference in Paris attended by the foreign ministers of France, Germany and countries in the Western Balkans, Péter Szijjártó said that the latter region had stopped “dangerous trends and developments by forming a line of defense for the European Union”.

“The threat of terrorism has never been this high in Europe and we must adapt to this challenge and focus efforts on restoring Europeans’ sense of security,” the minister said, adding that “we must keep security and stability in the Western Balkans on the agenda, since it strongly impacts security in Europe as a whole.”

Minister Szijjártó said speeding up the EU integration of the Western Balkans was “the best tool” to maintain security and stability in that region in the long run.

“We welcome Macedonia being on the cusp of NATO membership and we urge the European Union to start accession talks with Macedonia and Albania as early as next summer,” he said, congratulating Serbia and Montenegro on recently opening new chapters in their EU accession talks.

The minister confirmed that Hungary would continue to provide “all political and practical assistance” to the Western Balkan efforts to stem arms smuggling and maintain security.

The foreign minister noted that Hungary has 160 troops stationed in the EU’s peacekeeping mission in Bosnia, and 392 troops in NATO’s KFOR mission in Kosovo, adding that another 60 troops would be added to the latter mission, while Hungary had aspirations to become mission leader.

The minister also noted that Hungary assisted Macedonia and Serbia with border control, not only in terms of combatting illegal migration but with regard to arms smuggling, too.