V4 to form joint army group

The Visegrád Four countries (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) will form a joint European army group that will become operational in the second half of 2019, Hungarian Defense Minister Tibor Benkő told Hungarian media after a meeting with his V4 counterparts in the High Tatras.

Benkő said the Hungarian government considers paramount the safety of Europe, a position shared by all the members of the Visegrád Group. He also said Croatia - not a member of the group - has offered to join the initiative and the offer was accepted by the V4.

Benkő said the other main topic of the defense ministers' meeting was migration. All four countries agreed that the unchecked entry of illegal migrants posed a security threat. He said that the other countries of the group have been assisting the Hungarian armed forces in combatting illegal migration since 2015: the Czech Republic and Slovakia contributed with military personnel while Poland with equipment.

Benkő said the army group will be active in 2019 and expected to be re-activated in 2023, but gave no further details regarding the scope or concrete goals of the cooperation.

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