US Ambassador to Hungary Colleen Bell will travel to Washington for consultation on Wednesday to meet her boss, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland write Magyar Idők.
The Hungarian paper has learned that Victoria Nuland is unhappy with Bell’s performance as an ambassador; she is considered too “soft” on the Hungarian government – not confrontational enough.
“Magyar Idők” writes: It was not Collen Bell’s speech at Corvinus University last week that caused a stir but rather the fact that she broke her silence after such a long break by criticizing the Hungarian government for lack of democracy, freedom of the press, and corruption.
The ambassador, among other things said corruption in Hungary in her opinion was a serious concern and that the government pursuing heavy-handed tactics against NGOs.
She also criticized the government for limiting the judiciary, including the role of the Constitutional Court, as well as freedom of the media; she also reproached government politicians for using inappropriate language when speaking on refugee issues that show intolerance.
Colleen Bell later told “Népszabadság” that the content of her criticism of the Hungarian government contained nothing new, she just reiterated some of the worrisome phenomena plaguing Hungarian society like the lack of the freedom of the press and corruption.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from South Carolina Jeff Duncan, among other things asked Victoria Nuland on Wednesday’s hearing why the US Ambassador to Hungary Colleen Bell criticized the Hungarian government in her last week’s speech.
Hungary is a very valuable NATO ally, isn’t it? Why is then, that after several months of apparent improvement of bilateral relations, the United States ambassador has decided to launch an unprovoked attack on the Hungarian government? asked the representative.
Victoria Nuland in her reply stated that she didn’t know the details of Colleen Bell’s speech, but she recalled that Washington has concerns over corruption in Hungary and the Hungarian government’s handling of the media.