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EXCLUSIVE: Trump’s second term would bring back ‘best’ relationship with Hungary, Foreign Secretary says


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Hungary would likely benefit from seeing former President Trump return to power, as the two countries enjoyed the “best ever political relationship” during his administration, Hungary’s foreign minister told Fox News Digital.

“Certainly we are working with those who are elected here in the United States,” Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told Fox News Digital at the United Nations. “Well, but we have to be honest: If you look at the relationship, the political relationship under the Conservative or Republican administration and under the Democratic administration, there’s a big change.

“Under President Trump, we have had the best political relationship ever between the two countries, [the] best relationship ever,” he continued. “We have great respect for President Trump.”

When asked if Hungary would like to see Trump return to the White House, Szijjarto said he could only say he was “pretty sure” that the same “better” relationship between the United States and Hungary would resume if the former president runs and wins in 2024.

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Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto addresses the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly October 3, 2015, at the United Nations headquarters.
(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Hungary is one of the main conservative governments in Europe. Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban began his fourth term as leader of his country this year, despite foreign nations accusing him of eroding democracy.

Szijjarto deflected such claims, saying the European Union only defines democracy as “in case the liberals rule”.

“That’s not the case in Hungary because we are a patriotic centre-right, Christian-democratic government, definitely against the liberal mainstream,” Szijjarto explained. “They hate us, and, you know, since we’re successful, we’re kind of proof that it’s not just the liberal mainstream that can be progressive and successful. Conservative political strategy can be successful too. And they hate that do .”

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The foreign minister spoke of ‘revolutionary changes’ in the automotive industry, such as the establishment of electric battery manufacturing in Hungary – one of the ‘five biggest investments in Europe’ in the last decade – as well as the first country in the European Union to approve the Paris Climate Accord.

Szijjarto agreed with other leaders speaking at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) this week that there is “no question” of the climate crisis being “high on the agenda”. He noted that Hungary had reduced its emissions – with the aim of becoming carbon neutral by 2050 – while increasing its GDP.

President Trump greets Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban upon his arrival at the White House on May 13, 2019.

President Trump greets Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban upon his arrival at the White House on May 13, 2019.
(Reuters/Lea Millis)

Last year, the European Parliament noted that while Hungary had cut emissions, it had done so at a “slower pace” in recent years, but that a majority (60%) of Hungarians expect what the national government is tackling the problems of climate change.

“It’s a very important issue for us, although we approach it in a pragmatic way,” Szijjarto said. “So for us, economy, competitiveness and environmental protection must go hand in hand. If this balance between the two is broken, then it puts the credibility of the efforts at risk.

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“So, for us, what is [the] the most important thing is to have credible efforts in this regard and to maintain the balance between competitiveness and environmental protection.”

Following the call of Fridays For Future Hungary and Extinction Rebellion Hungary, young environmentalists demonstrate to demand action against climate change in Budapest, Hungary on November 29, 2019. The banner reads "climate emergency."

Following the call of Fridays For Future Hungary and Extinction Rebellion Hungary, young environmentalists demonstrate to demand action against climate change in Budapest, Hungary on November 29, 2019. The banner reads ‘climate emergency’.
(Zoltan Balogh/MTI via AP)

Controversially, Hungary opposed new sanctions against Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine. Szijjarto said the sanctions already in place hurt the wrong countries.

“The sanctions are more harmful for us Europeans than for the Russians,” he said. “The security of energy supply in Europe has practically disappeared. There is a crisis in energy supply, not only from a price point of view, but also from a volume point of view, not to mention inflation, not to mention the price feed…

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“The sanctions policy has therefore not given the results expected by the European Union and the Brussels institutions.”

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