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

Defence minister marks Hungary NATO accession anniversary

NATO, the world's largest and most successful defence alliance, is an organisation that guarantees the security of the Hungarian people "beside and on top of the Hungarian armed forces", Defence Minister Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky said at a ceremony held to mark the 25th anniversary of Hungary's NATO accession at an army base in northern Hungary, on Tuesday.

On this day 25 years ago, Hungary’s foreign minister deposited the instrument of accession to the North Atlantic Treaty with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in a ceremony held in the city of Independence in Missouri in the United States.

NATO is “a credible force” that will deter any “challenges” that may be posed against it which is very important for Hungary, the minister said in Tata.

He called Hungary a valued and respected member of NATO.

Szalay-Bobrovniczky noted an overall modernisation of the Hungarian armed forces over the past 25 years with “21st century NATO-compatible systems installed”.

Meeting NATO obligations, Hungary spent 2 percent of its GDP on defence last year, 20 percent of which was spent on the armed forces’ development, he said.

He said Hungary is an active participant in international partnerships and missions. Hungary is participating in KFOR’s peacekeeping mission and helps to protect the airspace of Slovenia and the Baltic countries, and temporarily that of Slovakia, he added.

Prior to the ceremony, a military show was held presenting top-notch Gidran armoured fighting vehicles, third-generation Leopard 2A7HU tanks and a SAAB Gripen fighter jet.

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