Orbán Expects ‘Turnaround’ In Hungary-US Ties

  • 14 Nov 2016 8:00 AM
Orbán Expects ‘Turnaround’ In Hungary-US Ties
Donald Trump’s winning the United States presidential race is expected to bring a “complete change” in bilateral relations, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told public Kossuth Radio on Friday morning.

Hungary has had strong economic and security ties with the US, but political cooperation “tended to run aground” with the Democrat administration, Orbán said. He insisted that the Democrat government lived in a “Liberal pseudo-world” and sought to “export democracy in its own interpretation”, and supported migration tendencies in the world.

Answering a question if he expected a change in the US government’s critical attitude towards Hungary, Orbán said that he expected a “180 degree” turnaround.

“There is a fair chance” that the world will be a better place with the new US president, the prime minister said. Concerning Trump’s future policies, Orbán said that “campaign and government are two different things” and added that Hungary was interested in a “reasonable, calm and well-considered” US foreign policy.

Answering a question about Trump’s campaign remarks that he would not support his country’s free trade talks under the current conditions, Orbán said “neither do we”. On another subject, Orbán said that in light of Trump’s making it clear that “the US will no longer foot the same bill” Europe will have to do more for its own security.

“It will do us good if we take security more seriously, and do not take it for granted by a huge US army from outside the continent”, he argued. Concerning US-Russia ties, Orban said there were ways to ease the tension and it was in Hungary’s interest that the two powers should “return from a warlike mood to the culture of peace and cooperation”.

He added, however that “it won’t happen overnight”. Referring to his recent talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Orbán said agreement had been reached that the situation of Hungarians working in the UK should not become worse, on condition that the Hungarian government does not take measures impacting Brits in Hungary, either. Orbán noted that his government was not planning to take any such moves.

The focus of talks in the future will be conditions for Hungarians wishing to seek employment in the UK from now on, Orbán added.

Orbán noted that Hungarians working abroad send home an annual 1 trillion forints (EUR 3.3bn), “taking a serious role in keeping the Hungarian economy going”. He added, however, that the government was working to make Hungary “a place ensuring an attractive life and predictable careers” also for people wishing to return.

Republished with permission of Hungary Matters, MTI’s daily newsletter.

MTI photo: Illyés Tibor

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