Croatian Defence Minister Pays Official Visit to Hungary

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Banožić, accompanied by the Armed Forces Chief-of-Staff, Admiral Robert Hranj, led a Croatian state delegation on a visit to Budapest during which the minister held his first bilateral meeting with Hungarian Defence Minister Tibor Benkő at which the two countries’ excellent cooperation in the field of defence was confirmed.

The two ministers recalled their countries’ cooperation in the EU and NATO as well as regional and multinational initiatives and joint training and exercises.

Banožić thanked the Hungarian government, his host and the Hungarian Archdiocese for aid sent after earthquakes hit Zagreb in March 2020 and Sisak-Moslavina County at the end of 2020.

“A long and difficult process of reconstruction is ahead of us but the support of our allies and partners is encouraging. The earthquake as well as the coronavirus pandemic have really shown the importance of continuous investment in armed forces’ capabilities as an investment in the safety and wellbeing of all our citizens,” said Banožić.

The two ministers welcomed Hungary’s taking over the post of the Kosovo Force (KFOR) mission commander in 2021 and the new multinational command in Székesfehérvár as the currently most important defence cooperation project.

“We believe that multinational cooperation, including with the EU and other partners, provides opportunities for increasing overall deterrence and defence capabilities,” said Banožić.

The two officials also expressed satisfaction with their countries’ participation in the Multinational Special Aviation Programme in Zadar and their membership in the Regional Special Operations Component Command.

They commended cooperation in the field of training and within the EU, including three Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) projects. Also mentioned was the potential for cooperation within a future European defence fund.

Benkő expressed satisfaction with the talks, saying that the Croatian government and army were doing a great job in coping with the coronavirus pandemic and the consequences of last year’s earthquakes and that he believed the two countries’ armies would continue their excellent cooperation.


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