'Like me, a little controversial' - Trump praises Hungary's anti-immigration PM Orban

16 Mai, 2019, 01:14 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • U.S. President Donald Trump stands in front of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban during a NATO family

He has refused to be confined to engaging only with traditional power players in the West. Orban has been accused of dismantling democratic institutions in his country. With the exception of Bulgaria, Trump has already received or visited all other eastern European EU member heads of state or government.

Orban said Hungary was proud to join the USA in "fighting against illegal migration", as well as on terrorism and protecting Christian communities. "I know he's a tough man, but he's a respected man and he's done the right thing, according to many people, on immigration".

Orban, Hungary's prime minister from 1998-2002 and again since 2010, has been criticized by the European Union, of which it is a member, as well as worldwide human rights groups for a perceived decline in human rights and democracy in his country.

"Viktor Orban has done a tremendous job in so many different ways", Trump said Monday in greeting Orban at the White House.

"When we see that culture endangered, a red light flashes in our mind and we take immediate action", he said. They also discussed how best to increase vigilance against unchecked global migration and to address China's unfair trade and investment practices. The last Hungarian prime minister to visit the White House has been Ferenc Gyurcsany in 2005.

Orban said he had not been in the USA for 20 years.

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White House officials say the USA government has repeatedly raised governance concerns with Hungary. And so far, Hungary has not heeded US warnings about Chinese telecom companies. But it is not only the Democrats, Trump's opponents, who are hostile to Orban. In an interview with Spanish TV channel Intereconomia in 2015, Orban raised fears about integrating Muslim migrants in the European Union when he said: "What sort of Europe do we want to have?"

The letter, also signed by Sens. In recent years, Hungary and the United States have had occasional disagreements, for example at the end of 2018 when Hungary handed over two Russian arms dealers, wanted by the U.S., to Russia.

Afterwards he returned to power in 2010, Orban faced years of harsh criticism against the Obama government over Orban's worsening of democratic checks and balances and the rule of lawincluding during a June 2011 trip to Budapest by then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "Otherwise it was a waste of the president's time".

When asked whether human rights and press freedoms would be discussed at the Trump-Orban talks, a senior U.S. administration official with knowledge of the meeting demurred.

"Trump's meeting with Orban will also have the effect of boosting the illiberal, pro-Russian European far right over the mainstream, pro-American centre-right". At no point, however, did he warn Putin not to meddle in the next election. Trump also remains allied with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is under pressure over the killing of a Saudi activist who lived in the United States and wrote articles criticizing the kingdom.

"Everyone from the Egyptian president to the Russian president to Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines to [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan in Turkey".


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