Budapest (MTI) – No foreign affairs official has been affected by the United States’ entry ban, the head of parliament’s foreign affairs committee said on Monday.
Zsolt Nemeth, speaking after a meeting of the political parties and Peter Szijjarto, the foreign minister, said the US had a “legal obligation” to support Hungary’s authorities in their fight against corruption.
“I am sure a joint and successful effort against corruption is in the interest of the American side, too,” Nemeth said. He added that information from the US in connection with an enquiry by Hungary’s public prosecutor “would help”.
“Until we are furnished with sufficient information we are in a pretty difficult situation created by the US,” Nemeth argued.
Nemeth said that tax authority NAV chief Ildiko Vida would be sacked if it is proven that she was involved in the corruption cases associated with the US ban. But under the principle of being declared innocent until proven guilty it would be “shocking” to call for her dismissal before evidence is provided, he said.
Andras Schiffer, leader of the green LMP party, told reporters the government should identify the persons banned from the US on corruption charges. He added that the laws making the identification possible are in place. He also added that the way Vida had behaved during the past two weeks alone made her unsuitable to head the tax authority.
Schiffer added that he appreciated that the foreign minister had engaged in regular consultations with parties of the opposition, unlike his predecessor. At the meeting, he called for a “national minimum” in foreign policy. “Hungary is in an extremely tough diplomatic situation, and it harms the country’s fundamental interests,” he said.
The US has placed an entry ban on six Hungarian nationals for alleged participation in corruption activities.