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Hungary's task is to develop a strong and modern army that is capable of deterring anyone from attacking the country, Viktor Orbán has said.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the new Commander of the Hungarian Armed Forces in Parliament over the weekend, the prime minister said: “If there’s trouble, then we’re the ones who have to defend the homeland.” The new commander, Major General Romulusz Ruszin-Szendi, has been tasked with integrating the army into Hungarian society, “winning over tens of thousands of young people” and training them to defend the homeland and respect military ideals, he said. Hungary’s political leadership “made a serious mistake” before 2010 by abolishing conscription to military service without building up a modern and competent army first. “Luckily we weren’t forced to defend the homeland in an armed conflict during that time,” he said. The absence of a strong army, Orbán added, had been “unworthy” of Hungary’s centuries-long military traditions and international obligations. The government that came to power in 2010 inherited a weak country and a weak military “and all it could put its faith in was its NATO membership,” he said.