Illustration – Photo: Facebook (Hungarian Defence Forces)

Hungary, Niger sign defence cooperation pact

Hungary and the Republic of Niger signed a declaration of intent on defence cooperation in Budapest on Monday.

The cooperation covers development, the economy and security, Defence Minister Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky said.

The two countries laid out their common goals in a cooperation agreement that will provide the framework for a partnership looking out for the stability of Hungary and the whole of Europe, the minister added.

Hungary is looking for ways to cooperate in these three areas as equals with one of the most important countries of the Sahel region, Szalay-Bobrovniczky said.

The minister said he and his Nigerien counterpart, Alkassoum Indattou, had reviewed the security situation of the Sahel region, expressing Hungary’s appreciation of Niger’s commitment to stability and peace.

The Sahel region is “the southern gate of Europe”, he said, reiterating Hungary’s stance that problems should be addressed where they arise. Hungary therefore assigns strategic importance to its relationship with Niger, he added.

Szalay-Bobrovniczky assured his counterpart that the security of the Sahel region would be a priority for Hungary during its presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2024.

Indattou said the agreement would be a starting point in bilateral relations that the two countries would follow up on.

In addition to military cooperation, the agreement will also provide a basis for strengthening military capacities, he added.

Niger wants to learn from Hungary’s experiences in defence policy and share its own experiences in fighting against terrorism in the Sahel region, Indattou said.

Like Niger, Hungary also faces several security threats, which could make the two countries strategic partners, the minister added.

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