We are committed to continuing our ongoing armed forces development program, stated Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky at a press conference held in Bratislava together with his Slovak counterpart, Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad after their bilateral meeting on Monday, 26 September.
At the bilateral meeting – which was the first of its kind between them – the two ministers discussed bilateral relations, the development of the armed forces of the two countries, current and future opportunities for cooperation, as well as the war in Ukraine and the situation in the Western Balkans. “If two countries can be close to each other – historically, geographically, and in terms of geostrategic interests – then Slovakia and Hungary are indeed, and we work together accordingly,” said Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky. Calling the current bilateral meeting very important, the minister added that both Hungary and Slovakia are members of the Visegrád (V4) Group, the EU and NATO, and they do their part accordingly, and both countries are committed to strengthening NATO’s eastern flank. He pointed out that the armed forces of both countries are on the path of significant development, which the Hungarian Defence Forces started years ago and continue to implement. “Despite the global problems that have arisen, we are committed to our armed forces development program, and in the coming years we will also examine the possibilities of cooperation in this area,” stated Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky. He noted that Hungary’s defence spending will reach 2 per cent of the GDP by next year, which is considered a baseline that must increase further.
The Hungarian Minister of Defence said that the issue of the war raging in neighboring Ukraine had also been briefly discussed at the meeting. “We agreed that – even if our positions differ on how to achieve this – we both want peace to re-emerge and the war to end as soon as possible”, stated Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky. In connection with the situation of the Western Balkans, he pointed out that both countries are committedly monitoring the events there, and are interested in maintaining regional stability in terms of the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as in Kosovo.
Jaroslav Nad thanked for the friendly relations between the two countries, and highlighted the excellent defence cooperation, which he called exemplary. He said that the delegations at the meeting had also discussed existing cooperation and plans for further expansion, including the modernization process of the armed forces of the two countries. He noted that the situation in Ukraine had also been on the agenda of the meeting, regarding which he expressed joy at their agreement that the conflict should be resolved as soon as possible.
Photos: István Filep
Photos: Szebáld Szakál