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Defence minister: Strong Hungary ‘unimaginable’ without strong army

Hungary cannot be strong without a strong army, Defence Minister Tibor Benko said at the opening event of the annual International Air Show and Military Display in Kecskemet, central Hungary, on Saturday.

The event will showcase the hardware and development of the Armed Forces, and highlight the training and the skills of Hungarian troops dedicated to serve their country, he said.

“The government’s army development programme is making it possible for us to live in calm, peace and security,” Benko said.

He noted that during the pandemic, Hungarian troops had steadfastly supported the protection efforts.

Benko praised troops serving on missions in Afghanistan, saying “the past days showed what Hungarian soldiers are capable of when left to their own devices”.

In terms of the armed forces, the defence minister noted that the number of troops had grown by 15 percent since 2016, with over 11,000 volunteer reservists serving currently.

Major General Romulusz Ruszin-Szendi, the commander of the Hungarian Armed Forces, thanked all the air show’s visitors, saying national awareness and support “is worth more than any wages”, and thanked the government for its support.

Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist, and Gaspar Maroth, the government commissioner for defence development have also attended the event, among other dignitaries.

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