David B. Cornstein, who was nominated by Donald Trump to be the next American ambassador to Hungary, attended a hearing at the US Senate’s Committee on Foreign Relations on Wednesday.
The hearing was summarised on the blog of Bence Földi, a former journalist of Magyar Nemzet, recently shut-down Hungarian daily. He noted that Cornstein mentioned anti-Semitism, freedom of speech and press, several topics which appealed to the Democrats in the committee and expressed similar concerns as previous, Obama-era diplomats in Budapest.
Földi reminded that the Hungarian government expects Trump’s nominee to be friendlier than his predecessors, so it’s not clear, whether his concerns are genuine or he just said what the Democrats wanted to hear. The journalist added that the committee members weren’t grilling Cornstein too much, and the hearing showed that Hungary is not a priority for the US diplomacy.
In his testimony, Cornstein stressed that he will “encourage Hungarian officials at all levels of government to advance American interests and to promote American and democratic values; the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press and the freedom of religion are values that cannot and should not be compromised”.
“Working together, we can further strengthen communication between our law enforcement and counterterrorism communities and further global security,”
he added. “An extremely important goal I have, if confirmed, is to halt the rise of anti-Semitism in Hungary and Central and Eastern Europe,” Cornstein stressed.
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