Foreign Minister Szijjártó praises U.S., U.K. ambassadors

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kormany.hu/Gergely Botár

Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said Hungary has excellent relations with the U.K. and U.S. ambassadors here, although political relations with the United States are not as good as they could be, during a wide ranging interview with index.hu published today.

“If the ambassador for the United States in Hungary was not Colleen Bell, political cooperation between the two countries would be much worse than now,” Szijjártó (pictured) said, according to index.hu. “She presents a cool-headed and calm voice when representing America, which greatly contributes to the improvement in the relationship of the two countries.”

Commenting on Hungaryʼs current ties with the U.S., Szijjártó said that, when it comes to the economy and defense, there is “no question” between the two countries. “I would be happy if I could say the same about politics,” he added.

Szijjártó said that U.S.-Hungarian relations are currently hobbled by the lack of bi-lateral meetings between the two countries, and said he hoped that would change.

Regarding Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s endorsement of American presidential candidate Donald Trump in recent speeches, Szijjártó stressed that Orbán “said that what the Republican candidate represents in the migration policy, in many points overlaps with the Hungarian point of view”. He noted that what the Democrat candidate represents does not. “This is the truth. But we do not vote; the Americans will”, the minister added.

The minister said that he has an especially good relationship with U.K. Ambassador to Hungary Iain Lindsey. He praised the British government for sending their to-be ambassador to Hungary half a year before filling position, so he could learn to speak the language. “Iain Lindsay is fantastic”, Szijjártó said.

Russia not a threat to NATO

Commenting on the relationship of Russia and NATO, Szijjártó said that Hungary does not identify Russia as a threat to the European community. “I do not believe that Russia would engage in any kind of threatening action toward any NATO member. I do not think this is a sensible thought,” he said, according to index.hu

But he added that Baltic countries and Poland might be thinking differently, and “Hungary respects their opinions”. 

“It is important to give support to everybody who feels threatened”, Szijjártó was quoted as saying.

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