Budapest, November 11 (MTI) – The Azerbaijani president’s visit to Budapest clearly shows Hungary’s current international standing, a board member of the opposition Együtt (Together) party said on Tuesday.

Nora Hajdu (Együtt) told reporters in front of Parliament, where Ilham Aliyev held talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, that neither the German nor the British nor the French premiers were standing in line to visit Hungary, yet “we are delighted” if the Azeri president comes over. She noted that Hungary’s foreign minister had travelled to Azerbaijan last week to prepare the ground for the current visit, and had laid a wreath at the grave of the current president’s father, “a dictator and a former KGB general”. While the world and Europe are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Berlin Wall, Hungary’s premier is hosting the Azeri president, who is rarely a guest in EU countries, she added.

The LMP party said it was unacceptable that the government should sign hazy economic agreements with dictatorial regimes while turning a blind eye to their human rights violations. Tamas Meszerics, the party’s MEP, said in response to the Azeri president’s visit that Hungary’s misguided foreign policy would isolate the country once and for all. During his talks with Aliyev, Orban failed to even mention Azerbaijan’s human rights violations, imprisoned members of the Azeri opposition, the country’s departure from western values or the terrible ecological disaster in the Sumgayit region, he said. Meszerics said it was especially worrying that alleged plans for investment fund of Eximbank, which is funded by Hungarian taxpayers, and the Azeri Pasha Bank are being kept under wraps. LMP calls for maximum transparency in the use of public monies. The Orban government’s foreign policy is “misguided and short-sighted,” and if Hungary jeopardises its NATO or European Union memberships that would undermine national interests even in the short term, he said.

The leftist Democratic Coalition said it is not surprising that Orban should be looking to forge closer ties with Aliyev as both leaders were “proud propagators” of illiberal establishments. Attila Ara-Kovacs, the party’s foreign spokesman, told MTI in a statement that Orban’s guest had come from a country where blackmailing and threatening journalists was everyday practice, as well as imprisoning members of the opposition and thwarting even the smallest of demonstrations with force. While the larger part of the world raises its voice against the autocratic governance of Azerbaijan, Orban’s “scandal-government” salutes it, he said. He also noted that in 2012 the Orban government had released an axe-murderer to Azerbaijan, even though it could be expected that he would become a hero there, which would rekindle conflict between Azeris and Armenians.

Photo: MTI – Szilard Koszticsak


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