Hungary has become the first former Communist country in Central Europe to send troops to serve in the Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai Peninsula.
The force – created as a result of the 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt – monitors the military aspects of the pact.
Hungary sent 41 troops to the Sinai. A farewell ceremony was held in Budapest before the soldiers left for Egypt earlier this month. Four female officers were part of the Hungarian contingent of the peacekeeping observer force.
The move by Hungary shows that it is ready to join NATO and fulfill other international duties, George Keleti, the Hungarian defense minister, said at the farewell ceremony.
The Hungarian troops substitute the Dutch soldiers who had been serving in the Sinai, Wat T. Cluverius, MFO general director, said in an interview.
Hungary will participate in the force for two years. After one year, a new group of soldiers will relieve the troops already there. The international force includes troops from 10 nations, including the United States.