Orbán welcomes Trump’s ‘America first’ promise

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While recently inaugurated U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s “America first” promise elicited controversy in many quarters for its perceived heralding of a new isolationist era, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán welcomed the comment, which he described as a “big change” and a “big gift,” according to Hungarian online news portal index.hu.

(Photo: Orbánʼs official Facebook page)

“We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every hall of power,” Trump said in his inaugural speech Friday. “From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first, America first.”

According to Orbán, Trump’s words could herald big changes in the world as they mean that every nation has the right to give priority to their own interests, index.hu reported. Such a vision could not have been aired before, and a new “bilateral era” has begun to take the place of the old “multilateral era,” Orbán reportedly said.

“We have received permission, if one may say, from the highest place in the world, saying that we can put ourselves in first place. This is a big thing, a big freedom, a big gift,” index.hu cited the Hungarian leader as saying.

Orbán believes this is “good news” as the world has been in “an unnatural state” where, due to what he termed “external pressure,” people are afraid of saying they would place their own nation first when governing, index.hu reported.

At the same time, the Hungarian premier acknowledged the limits to the scope of action for a small country such as Hungary.

“A country needs to know its place based on its armaments, its GDP, its population and its territory, and once it has taken its appropriate place, then it will know exactly where it may have its say and where it may not,” Orbán said in the speech.

The Hungarian leader made his comments when giving a speech yesterday at this yearʼs Lámfalussy Lectures Conference. He also mentioned that the Hungarian government is seeking to sign a “new” trade pact with the United States as the planned free trade agreement between the European Union and the United States, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), in his words, “will not happen.”

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