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US Chargé d’Affaires accused of interference

December 23rd, 2014

A conservative columnist accuses Andre Goodfriend of openly siding with the anti-Fidesz opposition and interfering in Hungarian internal affairs by attending a foreign policy conference organized by the Democratic Coalition.

In Magyar Nemzet, Szabolcs Szerető writes that the US Chargé d’Affaires made a mistake by attending the foreign policy conference organized by former PM Gyurcsány’s Democratic Coalition. In the conference held on Friday, politicians of the Democratic Coalition and Charles Gati, a Hungarian-American professor (see BudaPost through 2011) expressed views critical of Hungary’s diplomatic path and what they see as the Orbán government’s antidemocratic turn. André Goodfriend, who ten days ago attended the government’s’ anti-corruption conference, sat in the first row next to Ferenc Gyurcsány. In a separate article, Magyar Nemzet cites political scientists who suggest that Goodfriend’s presence at a party event could be seen as an intervention in Hungarian internal affairs and a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Szerető contends that Goodfriend’s presence is a clear indication that the US wants to pressurize the Hungarian government. This time, however, the US Chargé d’Affaires made a mistake by openly siding with “the tiny radical Democratic Coalition”. The conservative columnist recalls that in his talk, Charles Gati praised the US government for accusing the Hungarian government of corruption. Szerető believes that through these accusations the US wants to force the Hungarian government to respect US geopolitical and financial interests. In his conclusion, Szerető wonders how former PM Gyurcsány who during his term strengthened Russian-Hungarian diplomatic relations, could reinvent himself now as a US ally in its anti-Russian politics. As a possible explanation, Szerető hints that Gyurcsány may have shared information he learned in the personal talks he had with President Putin.

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