Mon, 25 Sep 2023

Hungary comments on ties with US if Trump elected
24 Sep 2022, 02:03 GMT+10

With the ex-president back in the White House, the two nations would have the "best" relationship, the foreign minister said

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has said that his conservative government could look forward to the "best ever political relationship" with the US if Donald Trump is re-elected in 2024.

"We work together with those who are elected here in the US," Szijjarto told Fox News on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Thursday. "Well, but we have to be honest: If you look at the relationship, the political relationship under [a] conservative or Republican administration and under [a] Democratic administration, there's a big change."

Former President Donald Trump was an admirer of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, lavishing praise on Orban whilst in office and giving the PM's re-election bid his "complete support" earlier this year. Both leaders have opposed mass immigration and positioned themselves as opponents of liberalism and globalism - and both received backlash from NGOs and the media for these views, with the EU also threatening to cut off funding to Hungary.

President Joe Biden, by contrast, publicly referred to Orban's government as a "totalitarian regime," ended a tax treaty with the Central European nation, and invited every EU leader but Orban to a 'Summit for Democracy' last year.

"Under the term of President Trump, we had the best ever political relationship between the two countries, [the] best-ever relationship," Szijjarto told Fox. "We respect President Trump a lot."

Asked whether Hungary would like to see Trump return to the White House in 2024, Szijjarto said he was "pretty sure" the same "best" relationship would resume were Trump to run again and win.

Orban and Trump have also found common ground on the conflict in Ukraine. Trump has repeatedly criticized Biden for sending tens of billions of dollars worth of arms to Ukraine, accusing his successor of risking "World War III." Orban, who has refused to allow weapons to enter Ukraine across Hungary's borders, publicly declared in July that the conflict would not have happened "if we had been a little luckier and at this crucial hour the President of the United States of America was called Donald Trump."

Trump is widely believed to be preparing to announce his candidacy for 2024, and said earlier this month that he will "make a decision in the very near future."

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