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Hungary will take a larger role in NATO missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo, in line with its pledge made to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, the foreign minister told Hungarian journalists in Brussels.

Hungary will reassign most of its troops who are soon demobilising from the United Nations Cyprus peacekeeping mission to Afghanistan and Kosovo, Péter Szijjártó said after a two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers. The country will boost its number of troops by 40 to 106 in Afghanistan and send an additional 60 troops to Kosovo by next summer, he said. Hungary currently has 398 soldiers stationed in Kosovo, he added. Szijjártó said Hungary will bid for the command position of the alliance’s KFOR force in Kosovo once Italy’s commandership expires next year.

Concerning Afghanistan, the minister said NATO’s number one goal in that country was to fight against terrorism. Hungary considers it especially important to combat terrorism in cooperation with the central Asian countries, because they are the ones keeping a number of extremist movements and terrorist groups at bay, he said. Hungary will in addition maintain its annual contribution of 500,000 dollars to support defence forces in Afghanistan, Szijjártó said, noting the government’s decision to extend the funding until 2024.