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PM Orbán supports Rutte’s bid for NATO Secretary General

June 20th, 2024

A pro-government columnist pokes fun at the Dutch Prime Minister who simply withdrew his disparaging remarks about Hungary’s government to remove an obstacle to his candidacy for Secretary General of NATO.

The outgoing Prime Minister of the Netherlands has been the consensual candidate to replace Jens Stoltenberg as NATO Secretary General, with one exception: the Hungarian government said it would veto his nomination because of a remark he made three years ago about Hungary. Commenting on Hungary’s ’child protection law’ prohibiting the representation of wanton sexuality and homosexuality to children, Mr Rutte said ’Hungary should be brought to its knees’ and that ’it has no place in the EU’ (see BudaPost, June 26, 2021). In a letter to Mr Orbán on Tuesday, Mr Rutte acknowledged that his remarks ’caused dissatisfaction in Hungary’ and pledged that if elected NATO Secretary General, he would ’treat allies with the same level of understanding and respect’.

On Mandiner, Mátyás Kohán takes that sudden change in attitude as proof that Hungary’s western critics don’t mean what they say and their real problem is Hungary’s firm stance against illegal mass immigration and Christian values. He makes a slight hint at the ’unavoidable silt of fourteen years in government’ but adds that Hungary has at least been sincere in standing up for its position that immigration requests should be filed outside the European Union, that a father is a man and a mother is a woman, and that Ukraine cannot win the war against Russia – unlike its critics who change their minds as their momentary interests suggest. However, he adds, Orbán was right to accept Rutte’s apology and promise that Hungary will not be pushed into supporting NATO operations in Ukraine. ’No cyclist in his right mind would seek a frontal clash with a steamroller’, he writes.

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