Szijjártó accuses America of a 'gross lie'


Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Péter Szijjártó was quoted saying that "America is accusing us of not abiding by the European legal system and of not being a party to Europe, which is a gross lie" in an interview published today in Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet.

“On the basis of the facts, it is not possible to bring Hungary's European and Transatlantic commitment into doubt," the minister added in the interview, in which he expressed the Hungarian government’s intentions to sort issues out, and mend the recently worsened Hungarian – U.S. connection.

Regarding the recent corruption issue that has worsened relations with America, the foreign minister said that “There are Hungarian private individuals who face accusations of corruption by the United States, and the government's problem, however, concerns how to act on these matters [...] lacking information, we do not know which cases we must act on. If we get hold of information then the Hungarian authorities can decide on the basis on the norms of the law-governed state whether to launch a procedure or not. In a law-governed state you cannot start a procedure based on perceptions or insinuation."

Asked about whether the goal of the dispute was to change the direction of Hungarian foreign policy, he said he thought it would be odd if the U.S. were to have a dim view of Hungary's policy of opening to the East, when economic cooperation between Washington and Beijing is “enviably close” adding that if a government puts its own interests in the forefront, this also serves the interests of the alliance of which it is a member.

On concerns about Hungary being in danger of becoming isolated, Szijjártó said that in the past two weeks he had met the foreign ministers of 17 countries and not a single one had raised this question or asked about the "current dispute".

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