Speaking to media following a two-day meeting of the Foreign Ministers of NATO Member States in Brussels on December 5-6, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó indicated Hungary’s intention to strengthen the “European leg” of the organization and to push for a greater NATO role in countering the migration crisis and terrorism.

At the NATO Summit in Brussels, Minister Szijjártó asserted that there was great need for reinforcing NATO’s “European leg”. Europe cannot wait for America to defend it in every instance – Europe itself, too, must take responsibility and act to defend its own security interests. Hungary also supports better coordination of the strategies of NATO and the European Union.

As an alliance, NATO must be more proactive in the fight against terrorism. Hungary is ready to contribute to this undertaking, as proof to that, Hungary is one of the 23 Countries that send actual troops to fight terrorists and provide weapons for allied fighters. Hungary will also initiate that NATO should assume a role in countering the migration crisis as a military alliance. As the European Union still has not found a common solution, and has likewise failed to address the root causes, Hungary proposes a vigorous NATO role in the struggle against migration in two areas. On the one hand, the military alliance should directly take part in the training of the Iraqi security forces, so that the Iraqi forces themselves should be able to defend the country’s peace and security after the much anticipated recapture of Mosul, and after the departure of the international forces. Efforts must be made to ensure that no further terrorist organizations should come into being, and that the country may finally embark on a path of reconstruction and development. On the other hand, NATO should assume a greater role in stopping the flow of migration by means of its navy units in the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean. The EU, as well as NATO should be more effective in the fight against organized human trafficking that takes advantage of migratory flows heading from Africa, the Middle-East and Turkey towards Europe.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI)