Defence Minister Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky (m) - Photo: Facebook

Defence Minister: Hungary, UAE sign military, defence industry cooperation deal

Hungary and the United Arab Emirates have signed a military and defence industry cooperation agreement, the defence ministry said in a statement on Monday.

The statement quoted Defence Minister Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky as saying after talks with UAE counterpart Mohammad Fadhel Al Mazrouei that the agreement’s implementation would pave the way for official military coordination between the two countries.

He said learning about the defence capabilities of the other country and identifying overlaps in research, development and innovation were “important opportunities”.

“In times of war, Hungary is making every effort towards securing the peace. But as the international community is pushing conflicts further and further towards conflict escalation, the government’s priority task is to boost the country’s defence capabilities,” the minister said, adding that the new pact would contribute to a modern Hungarian military capable of guaranteeing the country’s security and defence industry, which in turn would help to stimulate the economy.

Ties to the UAE could complement Hungary’s military reform now under way, “whether in the form of military research and innovation or manufacturing military equipment,” Szalay-Bobrovniczky said.

The minister also said Hungary, a European Union and NATO member, needed to develop cooperation with countries in the Middle East and north Africa in areas ranging from the fight against terrorism to border protection.

Meanwhile, Szalay-Bobrovniczky highlighted the UAE’s “important role” in fighting international terrorism and preserving stability in its region. Ensuring security of trade in the Red Sea and easing the tension in the Middle East “is equally in the interest of Europe and the Gulf States”, he added.

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