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Hungary is Committed to the V4 Countries

Text: defence.hu/MTI | Photo: Facebook profile of Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky |  16:39 December 11, 2023

Hungary is committed to the cooperation of the Visegrád (V4) Countries and supports the EU accession of Western Balkan countries to the European Union – said Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky in Prague on Friday, 8 December.

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“Our discussions have shown that despite possible momentary disagreements, we agree on important matters” – said Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky at the press conference held together with Czech Defence Minister Jana Cernochová.

“We have reinforced the enhancement and continuation of the defence policy cooperation among the V4 countries” – said Jana Cernochová about the eight-point joint declaration adopted at the meeting of the defence ministers of the four countries in Prague. In this document, the group condemns the Russian attack on Ukraine and declares unacceptable the terrorist action of the Palestinian radical Hamas organization against Israel. The two-day meeting of the Czech, Hungarian, Polish and Slovak defence ministers was convened by Czech Defence Minister Jana Cernochová because the presidency of the V4 Group is currently held by the Czech Republic. The representatives of the Central European Defence Cooperation (CEDC) and the West Balkan countries also joined the V4 on the second day of the meeting.

At the meeting, Hungary took over the CEDC presidency from the Czech Republic. Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said that the Hungarian presidency starting in January will build on the results of the Czech presidency and will continue the ongoing initiatives. The security of Central Europe is inseparable from the security of the Western Balkan, therefore, the program of the Hungarian CEDC presidency lays significant emphasis on the further extension of the high-level dialogue and practical cooperation between the two groups of countries, as well as on the support of the European integration of the Western Balkan countries – said Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky.

“Hungary is convinced that the stability of the region can be achieved only via the European integration of each of its countries, therefore, we definitely support the promotion of the integration process” – underlined the minister. “The stability of the Western Balkan is especially important to us as it affects the security of Europe, especially Central Europe” – said Jana Cernochová.

Related to the Russo-Ukrainian military conflict, Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said that Hungary’s position on this matter is unchanged. It supports peace, ceasefire and talks from the beginning as it thinks that there is no military solution to this conflict. With regard to this, the European Union should also reconsider its Ukraine strategy – he said. In answer to a question, he expressed his hope that by the time Hungary takes over the rotating presidency of the European Union, “the terms of the peace can be discussed” in connection with Ukraine.