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Jul 13, 2018

NATO summit: PM Orbán says that Hungary is one of the world’s safest countries

Hungary supports the US president’s assertion that European countries should channel more reasonable levels of funding towards their armed forces and security needs, the prime minister said

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has said that Hungary is one of the world’s safest countries, and it must therefore pay particular attention to “not losing what we have finally created for ourselves”. 

In Brussels on Thursday, during a break in a meeting of the heads of state and government of NATO member countries, the prime minister said that Hungary supports the US president’s assertion that European countries should channel more reasonable levels of funding towards their armed forces and security needs than they do at present.

The prime minister added that this is a reasonable requirement, because the most important thing in today’s world is security, and the greatest danger is the loss of security.

He noted, however, that not every European state agrees with this. He outlined the background as follows: “In a situation like this, what does an American do? He says, ‘Well, then, you shouldn’t be spending 2 per cent, but 4 per cent’. Today we are at a stage when […] not everyone is spending even 2 per cent of their gross domestic product on security, but the American is already talking about 4 per cent.”

The prime minister pointed out that the current conflicts have been smaller than those of a year ago, differences have diminished and there is increased agreement. He sees this NATO summit as an important step in the direction of NATO unity: “The leaders of the countries forming NATO’s two pillars – the North Americans on one side and us Europeans on the other – are becoming more accommodating," he said.

In the prime minister's view, the important decisions which have been adopted demonstrate unity. Nevertheless differences remain, he indicated, one example of which is that the United States “vigorously asserted with thoroughly considered arguments” that each member should increase its military spending and channel more towards weaponry, armed forces and security.

Regarding the potential threats NATO is facing, the prime minister said that the threats from the East and the South are fundamentally different in nature: “the eastern one is called Russia, while the southern one is terrorism," he said.

The prime minister said that Turkey is a key country in the fight against illegal immigration, as without a stable Turkey it will be impossible to defend the continent against terrorism and migrants from the South. Therefore, he said, Hungary welcomes the fact that Ankara has managed to implement constitutional reform that could make Turkey more stable than it has ever been.