Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has confirmed that the first aircraft involved in the Afghanistan rescue operations arrived in Budapest late on Sunday with 173 people on board.
The minister said many of those on the plane were rescued at the request of the United States and Austria. In exchange, the government expects its allies, including US soldiers supervising the operations at Kabul airport, not to hinder the entry of persons to the airport that Hungary plans to evacuate. Minister Szijjártó added that it was an “unacceptable” explanation that crowdedness had prevented them from allowing such persons to enter. “We are not adding to the crowds, our aircraft is there, once people enter, they can board the plane,” he said. The issue has been raised in several platforms and progress has been made but cooperation should be even more flexible, he added. He said there were Hungarian soldiers in the field helping the identification and entry of persons. In addition to Hungarian citizens, there are hundreds of locals who used to help the Hungarian contingent in recent years who need rescuing, he added. Hungary acts as a fully loyal and reliable ally with other countries during the evacuations and expects the same attitude from its allies, he said.