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Chief of Defence Visits Famagusta and Nicosia

Szöveg: HDF General Staff |  2016. december 6. 9:00

Between 1-3 December, Chief of Defence Gen. Dr. Tibor Benkő paid an in-theatre visit to the Hungarian soldiers serving with UNIFICYP.

The Chief of Defence started his visit to Cyprus in Camp General Stefanik, Famagusta, where Lt.-Col. József Lázár, the commander of the Hungarian contingent informed him about the operational situation. After a tour of the camp, the general held a staff meeting for the soldiers serving there. The next day he met with Head of UNFICYP Elizabeth Spehar, and subsequently with UNFICYP Force Commander Maj.-Gen. Mohammad Humayun Kabir. The topics of the discussions included Hungary’s defence policy priorities in peacekeeping missions and the military presence in Cyprus. Both leaders spoke highly of the Hungarian contingent, pointing out that the soldiers set an example with their contribution to the success of the mission. They praised the high proportion of servicewomen in the contingent, and said that they would welcome its further increase as a positive development in the future.


The general inspected a designated sector along the buffer zone separating the opposing parties, where the commanders of Camp Szt. István and the patrol base 91 gave detailed reports about the situation of their areas of responsibility and the challenges. In what followed, the Chief of Defence proceeded to see the Hungarian soldiers’ adequate working and living conditions, and while speaking to the personnel, he informed them about some current changes related to the Hungarian Defence Forces. At the end of the staff meetings, the Chief of Defence handed over Christmas gift packages, which, by the decision of the Minister of Defence, will be delivered until the end of the advent period to all Hungarian troops serving in foreign missions, so they remember that the comrades and family members care for them at home.

The visit by the Chief of Defence was closed by a meeting with Slovak Lt.-Col. Rudolf Eštók, the sector commander of a buffer zone. The topic of the meeting was the operational situation of the given sector and the military cooperation among countries participating in the operation (Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Ukraine).


The participation in the UN-led peacekeeping mission in Cyprus is one of Hungary’s longest-running international commitments, which started in 1993. At present, the 40th rotation of the Hungarian contingent in UNFICYP is serving in the area of operations, and this 70-strong military contingent is the largest one among those contributed by Hungary to UN-led missions.