Photo: MTI

Hungarian ambassador emphasises need for peace on Hungary’s National Defence Day in Washington

Hungary supports all international initiatives aimed at bringing an end to the conflict in Ukraine, Szabolcs Takacs, Hungary's Ambassador to the United States, told a ceremony in Washington on Tuesday, marking National Defence Day.

In his address to officials and diplomats, Takacs pointed out the need for peace and a ceasefire in the interests of Ukraine and its people, and called for urgent peace talks.

The ambassador said it was especially important that NATO remain a defence alliance focused on deterrence, which meant that it had to stay out of the conflict in Ukraine. He said Hungary was doing its part in upholding Euro-Atlantic security, noting that it was now spending 2.43 percent of its GDP on defence, and had tripled its defence budget in less than a decade.

Takacs hailed the “success story” of NATO’s first 75 years and noted that 2024 also marks the 25th anniversary of Hungary’s accession to the alliance. He underscored Hungary’s commitment and expressed its intention to expand military cooperation with the Ohio National Guard.

Tuesday’s ceremony at the Hungarian embassy was attended by Major General John C. Harris, Adjutant General of the Ohio National Guard. Harris told MTI that the strength of the cooperation between the Hungarian Armed Forces and the National Guard stemmed from its continuity over 31 years. He said there were currently several members of the Ohio National Guard taking part in a joint exercise in Hungary.

The ceremony was also attended by Sonata Coulter, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of State’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, and Brigadier General Timothy M. Brower, the National Guard Bureau’s Vice Director for Strategy, Policy, Plans and International Affairs.

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