The foreign minister has said all Hungarian troops serving in Iraq are safe, and the Hungarian Defense Ministry and the heads of the armed forces are closely monitoring the “difficult situation” there.
Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the Hungarian Armed Forces are also ready to take any action deemed necessary by the leaders of the global coalition against ISIS.
Speaking at a press conference following Iran’s overnight missile attacks against US and NATO bases in Erbil and al-Asad, in Iraq, Minister Szijjártó said it is in Hungary’s interest to avoid an escalation of the conflict.
The minister noted that under a ruling of the Hungarian parliament, the number of troops in Iraq cannot exceed 200. Most are deployed to the Erbil base. He said staff of the Hungarian consulate in Erbil are “fine” and that the Hungarian ambassador to Iraq is currently in Hungary.
Minister Szijjártó said he will attend an extraordinary session of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels on Friday, and call on the EU to contribute to the de-escalation efforts. Security of the Middle East and of Europe go hand-in-hand, he said.
The minister called it “worrisome” that an international deal on the use of nuclear power with Iran is now “farther from reality than ever”.
Photo credit: Origo