Réka Szemerkényi, the Hungarian ambassador to the United States is being called back from Washington, DC in the summer. Her successor is likely to be László Szabó Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, index.hu writes.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the news, and stated: “Following the election of the Trump administration, the Hungarian diplomacy has new political and economical tasks ahead, therefore the Hungarian Embassy in Washington will be led by László Szabó, the current Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. The future tasks of Réka Szemerkényi will be agreed on later.”
When asked about the news by ATV, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said: “I’m not concerned with women’s issues.”
There have been rumours which suggested that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, more precisely Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó wanted a change at the Washington embassy. Three-four months ago, it was rumoured that he already had someone in mind, but the plan of a change was made more difficult by the fact that Réka Szemerkényi’s appointment was Viktor Orbán’s request, and the ambassador has been successful in making connections with the new administration.
Following Trump’s election, the Foreign Ministry has found a reason to replace Szemerkényi, saying that she was and would have continued to be a great ambassador in the world of Democratic presidents, but different qualities are needed for Trump and the Republican Party. This view has been contradicted by Réka Szemerkényi’s work since the US elections. In February, the ambassador said that the Hungarian embassy is envied by the other embassies for having close ties with the Trump administration. The ambassador said that she had met and talked to the president three times before.
Although Szemerkényi also said that Viktor Orbán’s public support of Trump was important for building relationships, the foreign ministry may have felt like she was taking too much credit for the success of these relationships, impairing the accomplishments of the ministry and the Prime Minister.