Fidesz lawmaker critical of US ambassador-designate remarks
(MTI) – Remarks by the new US ambassador-designate to Hungary at a US Senate Committee hearing last week caused “justified and serious outrage in Hungary”, said Gergely Gulyas, a lawmaker of the ruling Fidesz party.
Gulyas said in an open letter published in the Wednesday issue of daily Magyar Nemzet that Colleen Bradley Bell had told the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Jan. 16 that over the last two years Washington had clearly voiced its concerns about the state of checks and balances in Hungary and the independence of some key institutions.
Bell said at the hearing that if confirmed, she would work to uphold American and European democratic values, express concerns where appropriate, and urge Hungarian partners to work collaboratively with international partners and civil society. The rise in Hungary of extremist parties is of particular concern, she told the committee.
Gulyas said that the ambassador-designate’s remarks were suggestive not only of a lack of understanding of Hungarian domestic politics, but were also — knowingly or not — an expression of political bias, which anywhere in the world would make it difficult to fill an ambassadorial post, especially in Hungary, where double standards applied against the centre-right government have increasingly triggered adverse sentiments.
Gulyas added that Hungary is always ready to pursue dialogue about democracy with its US friends but with sufficient knowledge of the facts.
Gulyas said that the party led by Ferenc Gyurcsany also posed a serious threat to democracy and he would be glad if as part of the “fight against extremism” the ambassador-designate would offer her support in this respect in the future.