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A dozen foreign leaders visit Hungary on August 20

August 22nd, 2023

As Hungary celebrated St Stephen’s day on Sunday, commentators express opposing views on the presence of a high number of foreign luminaries (but not a single incumbent leader from EU countries).

Foreign leaders met PM Viktor Orbán and watched the events of the World Athletics Championship in the Hungarian capital. They included Presidents Erdoğan of Turkey, Vučić of Serbia, Aliyev of Azerbaijan, Mirziyoyev of Turkmenistan, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the emir of Qatar, as well as former Chancellor Kurz of Austria and former Czech Prime Minister Babiš.

In Népszava, Tamás Rónay writes that the government has created a ‘world of illusions’, claiming that Hungary is important enough to be visited by a high number of world leaders. However, he adds, the question is why the government only managed to lure ‘semi-autocrats and full-fledged dictators’ to Budapest.

In Magyar Nemzet, László Szentesi Zöldi deems it ‘an entirely useful exercise’ for PM Orbán to negotiate with the presidents of Turkey and Serbia as well as with leaders from central Asia on August 20, ‘while keeping our eyes on Europe’. Hungary, he explains, has never had to choose between East and West but must keep her own survival and prosperity in focus.

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