It is “good news” for Hungary and the rest of the world that US President Donald Trump is putting national interests first, the foreign minister said on Tuesday.
Addressing a conference in Budapest on the US, Péter Szijjártó said that Trump’s new policy “has put an end to an unnatural situation” whereby a state had to “feel ashamed” of putting its own nation first.
He said the world was witnessing the birth of a new United States. Hungary’s prime task now is to protect the country’s interests and “turn changes to our advantage,” he said.
The minister said “we are living in a new world and a new world order”. The last week has been a sobering reminder for everyone that terror threats have moved into the everyday lives of Europeans, he said. It has made clear that there are certain topics on which we believed there was a broad consensus around the world, and everyone took it for granted that this consensus would be implemented. “But it appears that when such consensus is toppled, things are put in a completely new light,” he said.
Szijjártó said the election of Trump had come as a great surprise, but it was the Americans that elected the president, not the international media or the international political establishment. Since it was the American people that chose Trump, it would be wrong to politically question the basis on which he was chosen, he said.
He said two strategies were possible: the “strategy of crying” which would not change anything; or it would be possible to bring about decisions that, amidst new and unexpected circumstances, would “turn the situation to our advantage”. Old dogmas and consensuses have been toppled and this likely to continue into the future too, he added.
Hungary must take notice that the world has become multipolar, and “there is a chance that fewer botched international political decisions will emerge that leaves unfinished business behind,” he said. One change that has occurred is that aspirations to create global security are now based on new principles, Szijjártó said, adding that every country has the right and duty to defend its borders, and no one can be forced to live together with people they do not wish to live together with.
Szijjártó said that it was a new point of view in global trade that Trump considers that “trade must be fair and square”.
Addressing the conference, former US Congressman Connie Mack said that Trump had emphasised in his election campaign the need to protect his country and its borders. The fact that he solicited such a degree of support with this message reflected the frustration of the American society, he added.
It is a fundamental desire of people to live in safety, and Trump has given a response, he said.
This past US presidential election was one of historic significance, and it is now Trump’s duty to deliver on his campaign promises, Mack said.
He welcomed that countries such as Hungary had reacted supportively to changes. Hungarian-US cooperation is extremely good and the two countries share similar foreign policy goals, Mack added.
It is not the task of US diplomacy to tell Hungary what the country should do; its task is to strengthen relations between the two countries, and the new US administration will make sure to do that, he added.
Photo: MTI/AP/Evan Vucci