Hungary builds on the “very strong” links it maintains with the US, including the results of a meeting between Prime Minister Viktor Orban and US President Donald Trump in May and the success stories of US firms that have set up base in Hungary, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Monday.
Szijjarto participated in a conference at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) in Washington, DC and told a roundtable with Visegrad Group government representatives that the US had played an important role in Hungary achieving the largest economic growth in the European Union.
He said there were several common elements in the policies pursued by Washington and Budapest. They both consider the protection of their own citizens and country borders priority tasks and maintain the right to decide who can enter their country and whom they want to live with, Szijjarto added.
In response to a question, he said Hungary respected the EU’s common values. The Hungarian government’s foreign policy is based on mutual respect, he said. Every country’s national interests must be respected in the new world order and this can also be expected from Hungary, he added.
Strengthening cooperation between East and West is in the interest of the whole of Europe, he said.
The role of central and eastern Europe in international cooperation, including Transatlantic links, was also on the agenda of the Orban-Trump meeting, he added. He said both countries considered it important to raise their voices against the persecution of Christians in conflict areas.
CEPA Vice-President Edward Lucas, who was the moderator of the discussion, said the US-Hungary summit had brought important results for the whole of central Europe.
In response to a question, Szijjarto said that despite the international sanctions against Russia, several western countries have increased their trade with Russia. In the efforts to diversify energy supplies, both EU and US partners still owe help to provide alternatives, he added.
Commenting on the Three Seas Initiative which aims to promote joint infrastructure development in the Baltic, Adriatic and Black Sea regions, he said this would only bring results if words were followed by actions.
He also said that Hungary was hopeful about cooperation with the new president of Ukraine but expects action from Kiev. The previous Ukrainian leadership took rights away from Hungarians, including curbing the right to use the mother tongue, he added. The Hungarian government is not asking for extra rights to be granted, only for those that existed earlier to be reinstated, he said.
US extends visa-free entry for Hungarians
The United States and Hungary have agreed on an extension of visa-free entry into the country by Hungarian travelers, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said after talks with the acting secretary of homeland security in Washington. Szijjarto told MTI that they had also agreed on the list of legislative steps to be taken by Hungary in the interest of upholding the visa-free treatment of Hungarians in the long run.
Source and photo: MTI