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US-Hungarian FM talks

June 2nd, 2018

A left-wing commentator suggests that the government had to make concessions as the price for Foreign Minister Péter Szíjjártó’s meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington.

In Népszava, Gábor Tóth remarks that the meeting on Wednesday between the two countries’ foreign secretaries was the first for six years. He describes relations between the Obama administration and Hungary’s left-wing governments as extremely friendly, while he admits that Ferenc Gyurcsány, who served as Prime Minister from 2004 to 2009 ‘got involved in perhaps too warm a friendship with Vladimir Putin’. Tóth believes the US only has three major targets in connection with Hungary: political stability, complying with the norms of the western alliance and taking its share of NATO operations. He contends that the Orbán government only fulfils the third criterion and reads the press releases issued after the meeting as suggesting that Hungary has had to ‘haul back its hounds from Ukraine’s throat’, while the government had to reassure Washington that it ‘only stands theoretically with Russia on everything, while in reality it stays within the framework of the European Union and NATO’. Tóth believes that such a price was fairly low for Szijjártó to get ‘into the seventh heaven’ (Szijjártó was received by Pompeo on the 7th floor of the State Department’s Truman building.)

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