Daily News | Dec 13, 2018 | 1
Hungary’s government spokesman has talks in Washington
Washington, DC, April 28 (MTI) – Government spokesman Zoltán Kovács concluded a four-day visit to Washington, DC on Thursday during which he met congressmen and representatives of brain trusts and visited background institutions as well as the Congressional Research Service.
Kovács held talks with Republican congressmen Dennis Ross of Florida and Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska, along with Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. He also met representatives of research institutions such as the German Marshall Fund, the conservative Heritage Foundation and the Family Research Council.
Speaking to MTI about his talks on Thursday, Kovács said he had briefed all his negotiating partners on the Hungarian government’s policies of the past seven years.
“We of course also talked about current affairs, such as the issue of the Central European University (CEU) and NGOs, and the impression I got from everyone was that they really do understand what’s going on,” the government spokesman said. He said the news that had reached the US about the CEU was “mostly the one-sided bits of information containing the same half-truths being spread by the CEU’s rector and Soros allies”.
He suggested that prejudice in connection with Hungary in the US seemed to be “easing”, adding at the same time that most of the information that reaches the country was “still quite one-sided”.
Kovács said that if Hungary wants to change the way it is perceived in the world it is not enough for it to spread information to embassies but it had to “go straight to news organisations and reach a lot more people”. He added, however, that the Hungarian government often does not get a chance to share accurate information.
Asked about a letter sent last week to the Hungarian prime minister by a bipartisan group of US senators about the need to keep the CEU in Budapest, Kovács said he was convinced, based on his talks, that US politicians had not overestimated the importance of the letter and were aware that “the amendment to the higher education law is not about the CEU specifically but about all foreign universities operating in Hungary, and that there is nothing in the amendment that would be impossible to fulfil.”
Asked what it was that had interested his negotiating partners the most, Kovács said it was not the issue surrounding the CEU, but rather migration and the future of the European Union.