Hungary hailed US President Donald Trump’s policy of non-intervention based on mutual respect, Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s foreign minister, said in Washington late on Friday.
Giving a lecture at the conservative Heritage Foundation, he spoke about the challenges faced by Europe, the new era of Hungarian-US relations, the situation of the European Union, the previous US administration’s attempts at intervention and the Hungarian government’s policy towards migrants.
Szijjártó mentioned migration, terrorism, the conflict in Ukraine, energy security and Brexit as the main challenges Europe has to face.
“Now we have to decide upon the direction to follow,” he said, adding that all EU member states agree on the need for a strong Europe but dispute the ways it can be achieved.
The Hungarian government insists that it is a Europe of strong nation-states that can make the European Union strong, the minister said.
“History has made it clear for us that conflicts between the eastern and western powers do harm to central Europe,” he said.
Concerning energy security, Szijjártó said that Hungary would like to diversify its energy imports and buy American liquefied natural gas but the infrastructure required for receiving the latter in this region is only in place in Poland.
He noted that Europe, for instance Germany, purchased more natural gas from Russia last year than ever before.
Szijjártó said that Europe had made mistakes in handling the migration problem.
Hungary has never said that the illegal migrants are terrorists but the large wave of migrants creates a chance for terrorists to enter Europe, he said, adding that there is a need for sound debates over migration within the European Union.
Szijjártó said that Hungary had welcomed Trump’s announcement that bilateral relations should be based on mutual respect rather than “lecturing” other countries.
As examples for earlier attempts at intervention, Szijjártó said that when he visited the US during the term of the Obama Administration, an assistant secretary of state presented him a list containing the US expectations towards Hungary. The US official argued that bilateral relations can only be improved if Hungary meets all of them, including amending the constitution and the church laws.
As we wrote before, Hungary and the US state of Maryland have signed an interstate agreement to ensure the continued operations of McDaniel College in Budapest under Hungary’s amended higher education law, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Friday.