Orbán unlikely to be invited to Trump’s inauguration

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!!! FLICKR/Gage Skidmore !!!

Surrogates of President Elect Donald J. Trump and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán have been exchanging warm words since the U.S. election, but it seems that won’t mean there will be any official place for the PM at the Presidential Inauguration on January 20, 2017.

(Photo: FLICKR/Gage Skidmore)

“U.S. Presidential Inaugurations are considered to be essentially an American affair with limited space for distinguished guests,” a spokesperson of the U.S. Embassy in Budapest told the BBJ. “There is also a strong desire to keep the event as simple as possible. For this reason, the United States invites chiefs of diplomatic missions in Washington and their spouses to inaugural activities as the official representatives of their country, and the invitations are not transferrable. This has been a long-standing practice of the United States Government.”

While there has been no suggestion Orbán would be going from the Prime Minister’s office or his government, the question had been asked on social media, presumably prompted by the friendly exchanges in recent weeks.

That started with confirmation in late November of a phone conversation between Orbán and Trump in which the President Elect was quoted as saying “I’m a big fan of Hungary.” Then on December 1, Orbán described Trump’s victory as “the triumph of reality over ideologies and dreams”. The very next day, Trump’s foreign policy advisor Jeffrey D. Gordon, speaking in Hungary, said the PM is trying to “make Hungary great again,” adding: “He is one of the best world leaders in my opinion because he has common sense and he understands the threats from open borders and he is trying to do something about it. I believe Mr. Trump and Mr. Orbán will be good friends.”

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