World leaders congratulate and criticise Orban

French President Emmanuel Macron, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and Bechara Boutros Rai, the Patriarch of the Syriac Meronite Church of Antioch congratulated Viktor Orban on his victory in Hungary’s April 8 parliamentary election.

Emmanuel Macron said in a letter that he was looking forward to continuing the constructive cooperation aimed at deepening French-Hungarian relations. He noted that Hungary will mark the 15th anniversary of joining the European Union next year. Macron said he was also looking forward to working together with Viktor Orban, and the other three Visegrad countries, in further building Europe and preserving its values.

Two days ago, in an interview on French BFMTV Macron criticised Orban, “whose views on Europe could hardly clash more with his own vision of closer integration”. “I share none of his values, but there he is”, he said.

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his letter highlighted Hungary’s good relations with the Asian city state as well as its stance favouring an EU-Singapore free trade agreement. Singapore hopes to strengthen bilateral ties in trade, investment and education, the Hungarian prime minister’s press chief said, citing the letter.

Silvio Berlusconi, who also heads Italy’s Forza Italia party, congratulated Orban in a letter saying “your exceptional election results . show the overwhelming consensus about your person and your party in Hungary”, Bertalan Havasi said. The Fidesz-Christian Democrat landslide win in the April 8 general election, when the ruling parties garnered a supermajority, was also a “win for the European People’s Party, which was in dire need of one,” it said. “I am also sure that cooperation between our countries will continue to expand,” he said.

Bechara Boutros Rai, the Patriarch of the Syriac Meronite Church of Antioch, in his letter praised Orban’s “determination to keep your country close to [its] Christian roots” and the initiative offering grants to Christian youth from Syria to study in Hungary.

Source: MTI/Hungary Journal
Photo: MTI

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