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PM Orbán meets US President Trump

May 16th, 2019

A pro-government columnist interprets PM Orbán’s Washington visit as a great diplomatic success for Hungary. A left-wing pundit thinks that the meeting had no real importance. A Marxist philosopher suspects that President Trump needs PM Orbán to weaken the EU.

Magyar Hírlap’s Tamás Ulicza describes PM Orbán’s White House visit as a milestone in Hungarian-US relations. The pro-government commentator recalls that under President Obama, Central Europe was not on the US’ diplomatic map, and the Democratic Party was especially hostile towards Hungary’s right-wing government. Ulicza reads PM Orbán’s invitation by President Trump as proof that Washington is no longer ignoring Hungary. He acknowledges that the US puts its geopolitical and economic interests first, and wants to sell arms to Hungary, but President Trump is aware that in order to achieve his objectives and conclude the deal, he must offer something to Hungary in both political and economic terms. Ulicza notes that both PM Orbán and President Trump want to stop illegal migration and help persecuted Christians, and such a shared ideology is helpful in improving diplomatic relations.

In Népszava, Charles Gati doubts that President Trump and PM Orbán made any important deals. The liberal Hungarian-American pundit believes that the US President invited the Hungarian Prime Minister at Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s request. Gati, however, thinks that despite their shared nationalist anti-immigrant ideologies, PM Orbán is unimportant for President Trump, and thus their meeting has no real importance. He speculates that President Trump has the 2020 Presidential election and economic issues on his mind, while PM Orbán is preoccupied with what Gati calls ‘his hopeless situation on the European political scene’ resulting from PM Orbán’s dispute with the EPP.

In Heti Világgazdaság, Gáspár Miklós Tamás cautions against downplaying the importance of PM Orbán’s Washington visit. The Marxist philosopher believes that PM Orbán’s invitation is a huge blow for the left-wing liberal foreign policy establishment that has tried to marginalize and vilify PM Orbán, claiming that he has violated democratic and basic human rights. Tamás speculates that President Trump wants a new global order and weaken international cooperation. In this effort, the Hungarian Prime Minister is viewed as a strategic ally, since, according to Tamás, PM Orbán is ‘an openly far-right Prime Minister who uprooted freedom and is establishing the hegemony of a post-Fascist worldview’. Tamás goes on to suggest what he calls the ‘Fascist Right’ including Prime Minister Orbán wants to destroy the ‘progressive, egalitarian and humanitarian’ EU. Thus, Tamás believes that cooperation between President Trump and PM Orbán is ‘another Fascistoid declaration of war on Europe’.

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