Maintaining peace and security in the Western Balkans is of paramount importance to Hungary. The soldiers of the Hungarian Armed Forces serving in Kosovo will also help to keep Christmas safe in the Western Balkans and in Hungary, he emphasized during his visit to Pristina on Monday.
Tibor Benkő emphasized that performing a peace mission is always a task full of challenges, which sometimes involves risks and trials. He mentioned as an example that during this period, as Christmas approached, it was also a ordeal for soldiers to be away from their loved ones.
The Minister, as well as Romulus Ruszin-Szendi, Commander of the Hungarian Armed Forces, and József Bencze, Hungarian Ambassador to Kosovo, visited Hungarian soldiers in two camps. In both places, they addressed the soldiers at a staff meeting and also presented them with gifts. The mayor of Debrecen, László Papp (Fidesz-KDNP), donated a team ribbon to the Hungarian contingent.
The Minister spoke at the staff meetings: during this period, in preparation for Christmas, special thanks should be given to their sacrificial work to serve not only Hungary and the Hungarian people, but also the security of other countries and citizens.
“Hungary can be proud of its soldiers“
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He emphasized that maintaining peace and security in the Western Balkans is of paramount importance for Hungary. He asked the soldiers serving in the NATO mission in Kosovo to continue to do their job responsibly and to be proud of the mission they were taking part in.
Tibor Benkő emphasized that the Ministry of Defense and the Hungarian Defense Forces pay attention to the soldiers and work to ensure that their work is sufficiently recognized. This is indicated, among other things, by the fact that from January 1, his military salary will increase by another 10.
The Minister thanked the soldiers for their exemplary work in defending against the coronavirus, and for protecting themselves, their loved ones and their communities by taking the vaccine. In connection with this, Tibor Benkő also said that the vaccination rate of the Ministry of Defense and the Hungarian Armed Forces together is 96%.
Speaking to the press, the minister drew attention to the fact that peace in the Balkans is still fragile today, citing as an example what happened between Kosovo and Serbia in September when a license plate change caused tensions. the situation in the western Balkans is also important for illegal migration, he noted.
as a soldier himself, he experienced what it was like to be away from the family for weeks, months.
In order for the soldiers to be ready for war, their mental state must also be taken care of, the minister emphasized, which is why their visit to Christmas is important and to help them with gifts containing domestic flavors.
Tibor Benkő also expresses his gratitude and appreciation to the soldiers serving in Kosovo and other parts of the world. At the same time, given the pandemic situation, everyone is in good health, Merry Christmas and good luck. ”rich in military fortune”Wished for a new year.
Romulusz Ruszin-Szendi, the commander of the Hungarian Armed Forces, recalled at the staff assemblies that Hungarian soldiers had been serving abroad for decades. However, the current mission in Kosovo is extremely important because, for the first time, a Hungarian commander, Ferenc Kajári, is leading the KFOR headquarters.
At the same time, it makes it possible for the locals and the whole world to see the Hungarian Armed Forces, the commander said, asking for the help of the soldiers, so that Hungary would really be the dominant, capable force in the region, as it “bases”The Hungarian soldiers.
László Papp, the mayor of Debrecen, recalled that he also took part in the launch ceremony in July, when the soldiers of the István Bocskai Rifle Brigade in Debrecen were to say goodbye to Kosovo. He said that based on the briefings he had just heard in Kosovo, the city of Debrecen could be proud of its soldiers.
The politician expressed his pleasure at the fact that nowadays there is a government policy in Hungary that prioritises the esteem of soldiers and the development of the armed forces. “Hungary will not forget its soldiers,” he said.
Simon Ildikó, who is at KFOR headquarters, also told the public media in one of the camps. He said he would spend Christmas away from his family for the second time this year. He said he hid a gift at home for his child before leaving and then only tells him via the internet on December 24 where to find it.
Simon Ildikó said:
commanders always help the herd to have a beautiful Christmas away from their families.
KFOR is an international peacekeeping force under NATO command. For the first time, the Kosovo mission has a Hungarian commander. Ferenc Kajári is the commander of the troops of the twenty-seven countries (19 NATO members and 8 Partner countries) that provide KFOR personnel. The staff currently consists of about 3,500 people, many of whom are in the area of operations. In terms of the number of people on the battlefield, Hungary has the third largest team.