- 6 Jul 2018 9:31 AM
- Hungary Matters
On the sidelines of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s talks in Berlin, Szijjártó met Ursula von der Leyen, Germany’s defence minister, Norbert Röttgen, head of the foreign affairs committee of the Bundestag, as well as Günther Krichbaum, head of the EU committee.
Concerning his talks, Szijjártó said that cooperation in the military industry would be “tighter than ever before” and noted that Hungary had recently ordered 20 new Airbus helicopters. Szijjártó also announced that NATO would set up a central European command with Germany’s support.
He said that the initiative had come from Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia and Slovenia, and argued that the organisation currently has 22 commands but none in central Europe.
He added that the new command would be fully operational by 2022 “to add a great asset to guarantee the security of the region”. Szijjártó noted that Hungarian soldiers served together with their German peers in several international missions, such as in Afghanistan and the Western Balkans.
The minister spoke highly of bilateral cooperation and the “close friendship” between the two peoples, and said that in light of those relations “it is high time we did not only talk about one issue over which we clearly have a dispute” but put on the agenda “all other important” bilateral or European issues “apart from migration”.
He argued that Hungary is currently home to some 6,000 German firms, which employ some 300,000 Hungarians, and “enjoy all the benefits of Hungary’s investment environment”.
“A number of the political interests and values of Hungary and Germany coincide”, he insisted, and went on to say that “we should focus on those rather than on some conflicting views on migration”.
MTI Photo: Koszticsák Szilárd