Austrian military contingent leaves for Hungarian–Serbian borderSzöveg: honvedelem.hu / MTI | 2016. november 3. 16:23
In a speech delivered on Thursday, 3 November in Nickelsdorf, at the farewell ceremony of an Austrian military contingent deploying to the Hungarian–Serbian border, Minister of Defence Dr. István Simicskó stated that the mass illegal migration over the last one and a half year requires joint action, as mutual assistance is the only way to guarantee the security of our countries. The Austrian defence minister also attended the event to say farewell to the soldiers.
Dr. István Simicskó thanked Austria for its military assistance, pointing out that we must prepare for the protection of the external borders, which is expected to be a permanent duty.
In an interview to Hungarian news agency MTI, the Hungarian defence minister said that the Austrian soldiers are going to provide a kind of background logistic support in order to strengthen protection of the borders of Hungary and the Schengen borders. He expressed hope that the Hungarian–Austrian cooperation will set an example to other European countries.
Speaking at the farewell ceremony, he emphasized that “we can see how the terrorist organizations are exploiting the wave of migration, having recently carried out acts of terror all around Europe". As he noted, Hungary has by now created the security conditions along its southern borders, and reinforced border protection, while it is using lawful and proper legal procedures (for migrants).
Austrian Defence Minister Hans Peter Doskozil expressed the opinion that it is necessary to find solutions at the European level, ensure the protection of external borders and conclude agreements on the forced removal of migrants, but negotiations are also needed on their relocation within Europe and the procedures of this relocation process.
In his speech, Mr. Doskozil drew attention to the migrant situation last year, and stated that Europe has not learned much from these antecedent events. He said that the development of Austrian–Hungarian cooperation is an important step because in his opinion, all available forces must be mobilized to protect the external borders of the European Union.
Austria is sending an engineer company to the Hungarian–Serbian border to assist with the border protection tasks. Furthermore, it is going to make available 50 vehicles in support of border protection works. The work of the contingent will be helped by the Austrian Samaritan organization Arbeiter Samariter-Bund Österreichs. The deployment will last for six months, and the foreign soldiers will be accommodated in Hódmezővásárhely. At present, 20 Austrian policemen are performing border protection duties in Hungary.
At the end of the event, the deputy chiefs of defence of the two armed forces signed an agreement on the logistic and cost sharing responsibilities for the Austrian engineer unit deploying to Hungary.
Photos by Veronika Dévényi
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