Official Says Orbán & Trump Have Same Values, Interests

  • 12 Mar 2024 7:01 AM
  • Hungary Matters
Official Says Orbán & Trump Have Same Values, Interests
Adhering to the same conservative values could further strengthen cooperation between the Hungarian prime minister and Donald Trump, Zoltán Kovács, state secretary for international communication and relations, said after Viktor Orbán’s meeting with the former US president and Republican presidential candidate, in Florida on the weekend.

Those shared values include their commitment to peace, their approach to migration and the LGBTQ issue, the “sanctity of the family”, and their economic policy, Kovács told public news channel M1 on Monday morning.

He said Trump had proven as president that he was “the president of peace,” who, if elected, would urge peaceful solutions to the wars and conflicts.

Concerning the war in Ukraine, Kovács noted that Trump, just as the Hungarian government, had been an advocate for peace ever since the war broke out with Russia.

Commenting on incumbent US President Joe Biden’s remark that Trump was meeting a politician who “doesn’t think democracy works,” Kovács noted that Hungarian-US relations “work well”, adding that economic cooperation, Hungary’s commitment and its performance of responsibilities as a NATO member were “flawless”.

“The [current] ideology-driven US administration does not respect the opinion and the will of the Hungarian people,” he said.

Speaking to public broadcaster Kossuth Rádió’s morning programme, Kovács said that “as Hungary is in the fourteenth year of a model change, the country now gets a lot more attention in the international press and in the United States”.

Commenting on the Hungarian prime minister’s meeting with Donald Trump in Mar-a-Lago on Friday, Kovács said “the quality of personal relationships is highly important in politics”.

Orbán: Trump ‘President of Peace’

In an interview to public media, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán called Donald Trump “the president of peace”.

Commenting on his recent visit to Florida, he said he had travelled to the US primarily in response to an invitation by Donald Trump, the former US president.

He called US-Hungary political ties “especially bad today”, and the purpose of his visit was to restore relations between allies. “This won’t work with the current US administration,” he said, characterising the Washington government as “pro-war”.

“We are a pro-peace government,” he added. Trump, however, was “the president of peace”, Orbán declared.

Trump, he added, had made clear that he wanted the war in Ukraine to end and for peace to be established. “I don’t see anyone else as determined and strong as Donald Trump.”

Orbán said the US administration wanted to stop migration, “but they don’t know how”. The current president “doesn’t want to”, but even Trump “had a hard time” doing so when it tried.

“We have a fence protected by police and soldiers; they in the United States would also like one because illegal immigrants are coming in by the millions,” Orbán said.

He said Hungary earned respect in America for upholding family values “while everyone in Western Europe is talking about LGBTQ nonsense”.

“We are doing better in terms of recognition and authority you’d think,” Orbán said, adding that he had met every US president in person since George H. W. Bush, if not elsewhere, then regularly at NATO summits.

The prime minister said the Republicans understood that this was a difficult period for US-Hungarian relations, because the US government had expectations of Hungary that “we do not want to and cannot fulfil”.

Among these, he mentioned that America wanted Hungary to join the war, to declare that migration was welcome on the proviso it were well-managed, and that “we should support LGBTQ rights and this whole messed-up, motley system of coexistence”.

The current US administration, he said, had come to the conclusion that “they cannot get on with” the Hungarian government, so the only solution was to replace it.

He accused the US government of openly giving money to Hungary’s left-wing opposition, journalists, media and civil organisations to achieve a change of government.

“Of course, this damages relations; we are allies, not servants,” Orbán said. The Biden administration and the EU and the leaders of the biggest EU member states “are birds of a feather: they are all pro-war governments.

Donald Trump and Hungary are pro-peace, this is the difference at the bottom of everything.” Trump, Orbán said, had “a clear idea, which is hard to disagree with: he will not give a single cent for the Ukraine war, so the war will end.”

Orbán said it was not easy for Hungary either to raise the money that is spent today on security and armaments, but it must be acknowledged that the period of rearmament had come in Europe and the Americans would “not pay our security bills”.

Every European country must do its part, financially as well, and must have its own army and equipment, and “we must be able to defend our own country, or contribute to common military capabilities in an alliance”, he said.

Money spent on the army today could be spent elsewhere, he said, but the Ukraine war had shown that “you can no longer be lazy”.

Orbán said it was a big help that Donald Trump’s wife is of Slovenian origin, because her husband had better knowledge of this region than other presidents before him. With Trump, Orbán said, “what you see is what you get”. The special thing about Trump, he added, was that “he was a legend” even before his presidency.

On the subject of the US election campaign, Orbán said the plan to stop someone from running belonged in a dictatorship’s toolbox, “which is not worthy of US democracy”.

In his experience, “you can only win if you suffer for it”, and Trump “is suffering like a dog”, because what he has to go through is unprecedented.

Orbán said that he was sure, however, that he who has to face the possibility of a prison sentence, being tried in court, having his wealth confiscated, excluded from running for president — and yet fought and ran in the race — would win in the end, “like the heroes of Hungarian folklore”.

Donald Trump’s election would mean much for the economy as well, Orbán said, noting that US investments in Hungary were worth 9 billion euros, and a similar value of bilateral trade.

“Hungary has three billion euros worth of profit on this. But the fact that the current US administration has terminated its double tax treaty and has not adopted a new one is a major impediment to strengthening relations,” he said.

Orbán said it was a realistic goal to double the bilateral trade of nine billion euros.

It would mean a lot for the Hungarian economy if a friendly United States considered Hungary a priority economic and investment destination. It would be “bad” if Joe Biden won, he added.

Concluding the interview, Orbán also noted that Hungary’s role as a bridge between East and West was a major issued at the presentation in Washington, DC.

Currently, German investments in Hungary are worth 25 billion euros, US and Chinese investments 9 billion each, while South Korea has 6 billion invested. 

Today, Chinese and US investments are in balance, he said, but the Chinese were growing while American investments were “stuck”, so the United States, if they wanted to keep up with China, would have to increase their investments in Hungary, Orbán said.

Orbán said he saw an opportunity for Trump to conclude a trade agreement with China after his election. And it would be good for Hungary if German, Chinese, South Korean and American capital could cooperate within the country, and the prosperity of Hungarians would increase as a result, he added.

Szijjártó: Trump Presidency Will Ensure 'New World Order' Of Global 'Peace, Stability'

The world “needs President Trump to win” this coming election because only a “strong” American leader can offer “stability and security to the international order”, the Hungarian foreign minister said in an interview with the website of Breitbart News.

In the interview published on Sunday, Péter Szijjártó said that if Donald Trump was elected in November, he would be able to make peace between Russia and Ukraine.

“Without President Trump on board, this war will continue for a long time, resulting in many more casualties and culminating in much destruction,” the minister said. “So our foremost hope is that in the case that President Trump wins the 2024 election, he can make peace.”

“We Hungarians give our full support to that as one of the very few countries in Europe which is pro-peace,” he added.

“You have to understand that the majority of countries in Europe are pro-war, and just a tiny minority are pro-peace.” Szijjártó said that if Trump’s “pro-peace policies” take effect, “then some of those European countries might change their positions as well”.

He said there was “no battlefield solution” to the war in Ukraine, adding that the battlefield “can only offer casualties and destruction — not a solution”.

Szijjártó said it was generally acknowledged that Ukraine would not defeat Russia, adding, at the same time, that “we also know that Russia cannot win against the entire west” either.

Concerning the war in Gaza, he said European countries applied “double standards” to Israel. “[W]e believe that it must not be forgotten how this conflict started,” Szijjártó said.

“There was a brutal, heinous terrorist attack taking place against Israel, with the firing of thousands of rockets into the country, the killing of over a thousand people, and the kidnapping of hundreds more.”

He said Israel’s military offensive against Hamas was of vital importance not just for the security of the Jewish state, but for global security as well, to prevent similar attacks across the globe.

The interview was done after Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán along with Szijjártó as member of his delegation travelled to Florida to meet the former US president.

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