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Apr 27, 2018

NATO and Hungary to step up efforts to tackle IS terrorist group

“I assured the secretary general that Hungary will contribute to NATO’s counter-terrorism efforts not only in words but in action, and we will continue to do everything in our power to protect the security of our country and European citizens,” the foreign minister said

NATO will step up its fight against the Islamic State terrorist organization with a focus on training and improving security in Europe.

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, revealed the news after meeting NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday.

Minister Szijjártó told MTI that Stoltenberg had expressed his appreciation for Hungary’s role in the organization.

Hungary has deployed 200 soldiers in the international coalition fighting IS, some of whom are carrying out training, he added.

“I assured the secretary general that Hungary will contribute to NATO’s counter-terrorism efforts not only in words but in action, and we will continue to do everything in our power to protect the security of our country and European citizens,” he said.

The minister said the government had a clear plan to raise the country’s defense spending to 2 percent of GDP according to the promised timeframe. He added that the country’s defense modernization program will play a major role in this regard.

Minister Szijjártó also confirmed that the NATO-Ukraine ministerial committee would not be taking place due to Hungary’s veto. He said Ukraine had “brutally” violated the rights of Hungarian and other minorities living in the country against both its bilateral and international obligations.

“Hungary cannot support Ukraine’s further aspirations for Euro-Atlantic integration” until it changes its stance, he said.