Reuters International

Hungarian Defence Minister Istvan Simicsko speaks during an interview with Reuters in Budapest, Hungary January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

(reuters_tickers)

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary could increase defence spending to NATO's target of 2 percent of gross domestic product by 2024, two years earlier than originally planned, Defence Minister Istvan Simicsko said on Wednesday.

"We have made a decision to boost our defence spending by 0.1 percent," Simicsko told a NATO summit in Budapest. "We also have a plan on how we could accelerate this and we are ready to bring forward reaching the 2 percent defence spending level to 2024 if needed."

Simicsko told Reuters in January that Hungary would increase its defence spending gradually to 2 percent of GDP by 2026 from 0.95 percent now.

(Reporting by Gergely Szakacs, editing by Larry King)

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