Military

Joint press briefing with the NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and the President of Hungary, János Áder - Opening statement by the NATO Secretary General

NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

17 Jan. 2013

Joint press briefing

with the NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and the President of Hungary, János Áder - Opening statement by the NATO Secretary General

Good afternoon.

Mr President, I would like to welcome you on your first official visit to NATO.

Hungary is a dependable Ally. And the Alliance greatly values your country’s strong support.

We are very grateful for the work that Hungarian troops are doing in Afghanistan to keep the country secure. By training the Afghan forces, you are helping to shape a better future for the Afghan people. And I welcome Hungary’s intention to stay engaged in Afghanistan after our combat mission ends.

The transition of responsibility for security from ISAF to the Afghan forces is on track. Afghan soldiers and police are taking the lead for the security of almost 90 percent of the population. By mid-2013, they will be in the lead for the security of 100 percent of Afghans nation-wide. This will mark an important milestone. And by the end of 2014, they will be fully in charge of their own security across the country, and our ISAF mission will be completed.

Hungarian troops are also playing their part in our Kosovo mission. This reflects the importance Hungary attaches to the Western Balkans, a region which we all want to see anchored in Euro-Atlantic structures.

Hungary’s contributions to our missions are even more valuable because they are made despite times of economic austerity. In tough times, it is even more important that we do better with what we have, and work together as much as we can.

Hungary has already joined a number of important projects. You host our Strategic Airlift Capability, three C-17 heavy transport planes which are shared by 10 Allies and two partners. You also participate in several other multinational projects, such as the pooling and sharing of medical facilities.

We should all keep looking for more opportunities to cooperate. And we must hold the line on defence spending as our economies start to recover.

So let me thank you, Mr President, for your support, and Hungary’s support. I will continue to count on that support in the months to come.



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