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03 October 2005

U.S., Hungary Agree To Destroy Man-Portable Air Defense Systems

Will cooperate in destruction of 1,540 shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles

The United States and Hungary will cooperate in the destruction of 1,540 of Hungary’s shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles in order to ensure that they never fall into the hands of criminals, terrorists or other nonstate actors, the U.S. State Department announced September 30. 

Hungary's Minister of Defense Ferenc Juhász and U.S. Ambassador George H. Walker formally signed the cooperation agreement September 27 in Budapest.

The United States and many other countries and international organizations are working to prevent the proliferation of these missiles.  Man-portable air defense systems, also known as MANPADS, can pose a threat to passenger air travel, the commercial aviation industry, and military aircraft around the world, according to a State Department fact sheet issued September 20.

Following is a statement on the U.S.-Hungarian agreement:

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U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
September 30, 2005

MEDIA NOTE

UNITED STATES AND HUNGARY AGREEMENT ON DESTRUCTION OF MAN-PORTABLE AIR DEFENSE SYSTEMS (MANPADS) MISSILES

The United States and Hungary have agreed to cooperate in the destruction of 1,540 of Hungary's Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS), commonly referred to as shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, which are no longer needed for Hungary's defense.

Hungary's Minister of Defense, Ferenc Juhász, and U.S. Ambassador George H. Walker formally signed the cooperation agreement on September 27, 2005 at a ceremony in Budapest, to destroy 1,540 of the "Strela 2" (SA-7) variety of the MANPADS and related equipment in Hungary's stockpile.  The missiles and equipment will be destroyed in order to ensure that they never fall into the hands of criminals, terrorists or other non-state actors.  The bilateral agreement was coordinated between the Government of Hungary, the U.S. Embassy in Budapest, and the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the Department of State's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.

The United States, Hungary, and many other countries and international organizations are working together to prevent the proliferation of MANPADS.  The U.S. Department of State has facilitated the destruction of over 13,000 MANPADS in 13 countries to date.  The destruction of these Hungarian MANPADS will reduce the threat posed by these weapons to international security.

To learn more about MANPADS and the United States’ bilateral and multilateral efforts to limit their proliferation and to improve the physical security of MANPADS stockpiles, download a new Department of State fact sheet at http://www.state.gov/t/pm/rls/fs/53558.htm.

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