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EXCLUSIVE: Trump second term would bring back ‘best-ever’ relationship with Hungary, foreign minister says

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Hungary would likely benefit from former President Trump returning to office, as the two countries had the “best political relationship ever” during his administration, Hungary’s foreign minister told Fox News Digital.

“Certainly, we are working with those elected here in the US,” Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told Fox News Digital at the United Nations. “Well, but we have to be honest: if you look at the relationship, the political relationship under conservative or republican rule and under democratic rule, there is a big change.

“Under President Trump’s tenure, we had the best ever political relationship between the two countries, [the] best relationship ever,” he continued. “We have a lot of respect for President Trump.”

When asked whether Hungary would like to see Trump return to the White House, Szijjarto said all he could say was that he was “pretty confident” that the same “best” relationship between the US and Hungary would resume if the former president is running and win in 2024.

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Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto addresses the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly on October 3, 2015, at UN headquarters.
(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Hungary stands as one of the most important conservative governments in Europe. Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban started his fourth term as leader of his country this year, although foreign nations accused him of eroding democracy.

Szijjarto refuted such claims, saying that the European Union only defines democracy as “in case the liberals rule”.

“This is not the case in Hungary, because we are a patriotic centre-right, Christian Democrat government, absolutely against the liberal mainstream,” explained Szijjarto. “They hate us, and, you know, since we’re successful, we’re kind of proof that not only the liberal mainstream can be progressive and successful. Conservative political strategy can also be successful. And they hate this fact.”

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The foreign minister referred to “revolutionary changes” in the car industry, such as the establishment of electric battery production in Hungary – one of the “five largest investments in Europe” in the past decade – and also that he was the first country of the European Union that was the Paris Climate Agreement.

Szijjarto agreed with other leaders speaking at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) this week that it is “no question” that the climate crisis is “one of the top priorities”. He noted that Hungary has reduced its emissions – aiming to become carbon neutral by 2050 – while expanding its GDP.

President Trump welcomes Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban upon arrival at the White House on May 13, 2019.

President Trump welcomes Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban upon arrival at the White House on May 13, 2019.
(Reuters/Leah Millis)

The European Parliament noted last year that while Hungary has reduced its emissions, it has done so at a “slower pace” in recent years, but a majority (60%) of Hungarians expect the national government to tackle the problems of climate change .

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“It is a very important issue for us, although we are approaching this issue on a pragmatic basis,” Szijjarto said. “So for us, economy, competitiveness and environmental protection must go hand in hand. If this balance is broken, it will jeopardize the credibility of the effort.

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“So, for us, what’s… [the] the most important thing is to make credible efforts in this area and maintain the balance between competitiveness and environmental protection.”

Following the call from Fridays For Future Hungary and Extinction Rebellion Hungary, young environmentalists demonstrate to demand action against climate change in Budapest, Hungary, November 29, 2019. The banner reads "climatic emergency."

Following the call from Fridays For Future Hungary and Extinction Rebellion Hungary, young environmentalists demonstrate to demand action against climate change in Budapest, Hungary, November 29, 2019. The banner reads ‘climatic emergency’.
(Zoltan Balogh/MTI via AP)

Controversially, Hungary has resisted further sanctions against Russia in response to Ukraine’s invasion. Szijjarto said the sanctions already in place are hurting the wrong countries.

“The sanctions are more damaging to us Europeans than to the Russians,” he argued. “The security of energy supply in Europe is almost gone. There is a crisis in the energy supply, not only from a price point of view, but also from a volume point of view, not to mention inflation, not to mention keep quiet about food prices…

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“So the sanctions policy has not delivered the results that the European Union and the institutions in Brussels had expected.”

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