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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 736-13
October 22, 2013

Readout Of Secretary Hagel's Meeting With Hungarian Minister Of Defense Csaba Hende

Pentagon Press Secretary George Little provided the following readout:

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel met with Hungary's Minister of Defense Csaba Hende today during the NATO Defense Ministerial in Brussels, Belgium. 

During the meeting, Secretary Hagel and Minister Hende discussed bilateral cooperation, the importance of supporting security and stability in Afghanistan post 2014, defense budgets and planning, and the current situation in Syria.

Secretary Hagel thanked Minister Hende for Hungary's support of the Heavy Airlift Wing, a multi-national force based at Pápa Air Base, and for the country's leadership and participation in the Strategic Airlift Capability initiative. 

The leaders noted the recent 20th anniversary of the State Partnership Program between the Hungarian Defense Forces and the Ohio National Guard, which has seen multiple joint deployments in support of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.  Secretary Hagel recognized Hungary's long-standing contributions in Afghanistan, notably its Special Operations Forces support, as well as the Hungarian military's force protection mission at Kabul International Airport.

Additionally, Secretary Hagel praised Hungary for its contributions to coalition operations in the Balkans, noting the value of Hungarian efforts to Balkan security and integration.

Secretary Hagel and Minister Hende also discussed the situation in Syria, and the importance of the international community's efforts to work together to secure and destroy Syria's chemical weapons.  The leaders agreed to remain in contact as the situation evolves.

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