Italy and Hungary are strategic allies – said Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky on 10 May in Rome, after holding a bilateral discussion with Italian Defence Minister Guido Crosetto.
Speaking about the main topics of the meeting in the capital city of Italy, Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky told the reporter of Hungarian news agency MTI that Hungary is determined to develop the defence industry, which is of paramount importance in these times.
“The government made a decision on the development of the defence industry and the armed forces in 2015, when it was confronted with the fact that many assets had been irresponsibly sold or donated under previous governments. The country, however, has always needed modern armed forces, especially in times of war, so this development is of paramount importance”, said Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky. There is a lot of capacity in this defence industrial development program that is useful for the Hungarian and the Italian armed forces alike, he added.
In this context, the minister emphasized the determination of the Hungarian government, and also recalled that it had previously established cooperation with Italian companies in this field, and was looking for ways to continue and develop this in the future. At the same time, he confirmed that Hungary would not participate in arms supplies to Ukraine and maintained its pro-peace position. The minister thanked his Italian counterpart for contributing Italian troops to Hungary’s enhanced Vigilance Activity Battle Group (HUN eVA BG) and so to the strengthening of NATO’s eastern flank.
Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky told MTI that during the discussions, they had touched on the Western Balkans, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo, whose security policy stability is of particular importance, not least because these countries are also routes for illegal migration, and migrant smugglers are very active in this region. “Hungary’s position as a front-line country in the fight against illegal migration is that problems must be dealt with where they originate,” said the Minister of Defence, adding that it is also of particular importance that Hungary and Italy are also participating in missions in Africa.
On his social media page, the Minister of Defence also wrote that together with Guido Crosetto, they had laid a wreath to pay tribute to the memory of István Türr and Giuseppe Garibaldi, and also to the Hungarian–Italian friendship. “Together with several other Hungarian officer comrades on Garibaldi’s side, the fearless Hungarian helped the forces fighting for the unification of Italy. His example also shows that Hungarian soldiers can stand their ground anywhere around the world”, wrote the minister.