Hungary in Afghanistan for long haul, president tells Karzai

Other News Materials 4 April 2008 17:01

(dpa) - Hungarian President Laszlo Solyom on Friday assured his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai that Hungarian troops would be in Afghanistan for the long haul during Karzai's one-day visit to Budapest.

"Hungary is planning a long-term presence in Afghanistan along with international community," Solyom said following talks with Karzai, who flew in from the NATO summit in nearby Bucharest.

Hungary's roughly 250 troops in Afghanistan are mainly involved in provincial reconstruction work in Baglan, northern Afghanistan.

Solyom said that the troops would remain in place until Afghanistan could ensure security with its own forces.

Karzai said that Afghanistan was grateful for the help that the troops were giving in Baglan, and promised that his nation would do everything it could to facilitate Hungarian investment.

Hungary is expected to invest in Afghanistan's building, agriculture and telecommunications industries.

Karzai was also due to meet Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany and Defence Minister Imre Szekeres.