American Congress delegation in Budapest

Hungary and the United States have a vested interest in developing bilateral relations along common values and promoting a better understanding between the two countries, Parliamentary Speaker Laszlo Kover said after talks with a US Congress delegation in Budapest on Friday.

Hungary strives for boosting political, economic, cultural and tourism ties and developing the traditionally strong military and security policy relations between the two countries, Kover told the delegation, composed of five Republican lawmakers and a Democrat Congressman. The House speaker called the United States Hungary’s most important ally outside the European Union.

The two sides exchanged views on the future of the European Union, the ways to manage the European migration crisis, V4 cooperation, the Ukrainian education law that limits the language rights of the ethnic Hungarian community, Hungarian-Russian relations and Hungary’s efforts to eliminate its unilateral dependence on energy imports.
Dennis Ross, the head of the US delegation, confirmed his strong commitment to developing closer ties between the two countries.

The congressmen also met Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Human Resources Minister Zoltan Balog, Interior Minister Sandor Pinter as well as Zsolt Nemeth, head of parliament’s foreign affairs committee and of the Hungary-US friendship section.

Nemeth discusses migration policy, security with US congressmen

US-Hungarian relations may enter a new chapter, Zsolt Nemeth, head of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, told a press conference after talks with a US Congress delegation in Budapest on Friday.

Global and internal security and migration policy are in the foreground of those relations, the lawmaker of ruling Fidesz said. The new US administration, which relies on a Republican majority in both houses, and Hungary “have similar views on social policy and the importance of Christian values and the family”, Nemeth said. He called for deepening top-level political relations, as well as economic and security cooperation.

“Building central Europe” is a priority for Hungarian foreign policy, Nemeth said, adding that US President Donald Trump’s visit to Warsaw last year was an important event from this aspect, too. Trump called for a strong stance for traditional values, “for God, homeland, family and freedom,” Nemeth noted. A rising central Europe is the common interest for all who see the region’s potential, the US among them, he said.

Ukraine was another topic discussed, Nemeth said. Hungary sees that country’s future place in central Europe, and fully supports Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty and integrity, he said. At the same time, Hungary also wants to see Ukraine “build a democratic state based on the rule of law”, where human and minority rights are observed and Transcarpathia Hungarians can preserve their school system, he said.

Republican congressman Dennis Ross of Florida said that the US is willing to help Hungary diversify its energy supplies. The Hungarian economy is performing very well, and this provides opportunities for strengthening bilateral economic cooperation, he said.

The talks also touched on Russian influence and cybersecurity, he said.
Asked about a meeting between Prime Minister Viktor Orban and President Trump, Ross said that they were “working on setting it up.” It is a “matter of time”, he said.

Source and photo: MTI

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