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Orbán could meet Trump at NATO summit

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Photo by flickr.com/Nicolas Raymond

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán could have the chance to meet U.S. President Donald J. Trump in May, as Trump agreed to meet the leaders of NATO member countries after negotiating with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, according to a White House press announcement.

(Photo: flickr.com / Nicolas Raymond)

The announcement said that during a telephone call, Trump and Stoltenberg “reconfirmed the importance of the Alliance in troubled times,” which comes as a slight surprise after Trump had criticized NATO on numerous occasions recently, with particular regard to what the new president sees as the United Statesʼ unfair share in the financing of the organization.

“The Secretary General recalled NATOʼs consistent policy of strong defense and dialogue with Russia … The Secretary General and President Trump looked forward to the upcoming NATO summit in Brussels in late May to discuss these issues,” cnn.com quoted the statement as saying.

At the summit, Orbán may have the chance to meet personally with Trump, even if only for a short unofficial dialogue. The Hungarian prime minister was one of the first leaders in the world to endorse Trump during the American elections, praising the then candidate for his stance on “illegal migration.”

Following Trump’s election, the two leaders were reported to have shared a phone conversation in which Trump reportedly invited Orbán to Washington, but no official date has yet been set.

Hungary’s relationship with the United States is expected to change for the better as the Trump administration is widely seen to be less critical of the Hungarian government, compared to the Obama administration, which periodically criticized the Orbán regime in matters of corruption, media freedom, and most recently its treatment of NGOs.

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