Republican congressman Andy Harris has been joined by ten colleagues in calling for an improvement in US-Hungary ties and the elimination of a 700,000 US dollar grant launched recently by the State Department to support “independent and objective media” in Hungary.
In the letter addressed to Rex Tillerson, Harris argued for broadening alignment on defence, national security, counterterrorism, foreign affairs and migration, citing US strategic interests. Harris said that the two countries shared interests and ideals in most of the areas.
Hungary, like the other three members of the Visegrád Group, is a natural US ally, Harris said.
Regarding most policy areas, the V4’s official position reflects the US standpoint more closely than that of most other EU member states.
He criticised the State Department insisting that it has continued the policy of the previous Obama administration seeking to influence Hungary’s political and public decision making instead of seeking cooperation with the country as an ally. The State Department “gives the impression” of interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign ally, he said.
Harris also criticised the 700,000 dollar grant launched recently by the State Department to support “independent and objective media” in Hungary,
arguing that the scheme could be seen as an inappropriate attempt by the US to influence events in a country that is holding parliamentary elections in the spring.
This can tarnish the image of the United States in central Europe, and particularly in the V4 countries, which is against US interests, the congressman said.
He urged Tillerson to initiate high-level bilateral meetings and appoint an ambassador to Hungary without delay.