Budapest, December 13 (MTI) – In a letter addressed to President of the US Senate John Biden, Hungarian parliamentary speaker Laszlo Kover protested against a recent remark made by US Senator John McCain.
Addressing a Senate debate over the appointment of the new US ambassador to Hungary earlier this month, the Republican senator said, referring to Prime Minister Viktor Orban, that Hungary is “a nation that is on the verge of ceding its sovereignty to a neo-fascist dictator getting in bed with Vladimir Putin.”
The letter, a copy of which was sent to MTI on Saturday, states that McCain’s remark about Orban “almost reminds one of the tone of the Cold War period”.
Kover asked Biden to use his position “to help in ensuring that the comments made about Hungary by legislators and government officials return to a level that is conducive to mutual respect and trust”.
McCain’s words lack any basis in reality and violate Hungary’s sovereignty, insult Hungary’s voters and disregard the obligation to respect human dignity, to which Hungary’s prime minister is also entitled, Kover said. McCain’s comment would be unacceptable if made with regard to any sovereign democratic country, he added.
“He crossed a line, which in itself is cause for concern in terms of how a senior and influential U.S. senator views the role of the United States within the transatlantic alliance and to what extent he respects one of the allies of the United States,” he said.
However, Kover said, that that in itself would not have been sufficient reason for him to write to Biden.
“I was prompted to do so by the fact that I see Senator McCain’s conduct as an egregious manifestation of the remarks, gestures and conduct of certain other politicians, government officials and individuals, who clearly have close ties with the administration. This behavior has been particularly evident in the recent past,” , he said.
If that approach continues, it threatens to undermine not only the trust that is necessary between the governments of the two allied countries, but also the traditional respect and warmth that the citizens of Hungary feel towards the United States and its people, he said.
Kover noted that McCain, in response to the reaction of Hungary’s foreign ministry, issued a statement on December 3, that attempted to reinforce his comment by linking it to the views of the US government and charge d’affaires Andre Goodfriend.
Kover noted events in Hungarian history and said that just like in 1956 and 1989, “the Hungarian nation will continue to defend its freedom and independence against all external control by all possible means”.
He said that in 2010, when Orban’s government took over, Hungary was in a deep crisis due to the “eight-year legacy left by the post-communists and the liberals” and the international environment “was marked by aversion to methods differing from the previously mainstream forms of political and economic direction.”
During four years of tackling the crisis, “Hungary and its government, which was elected with a large majority, has been subject to constant attacks, slanders and attempts at financial manipulation.”
The Hungarian government “established constructive cooperation with the agencies of both the European Commission and the Council of Europe” while making it clear that, “we are only willing to participate in such debates and their resolution as equal partners,” Kover said.
Concluding the letter, Kover expressed thanks to all those US senators and public figures who have taken time and devoted energy to acquainting themselves with our unique situation, and by their fairness have shown respect and friendship towards Hungary.