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May 13, 2019

Former US Ambassador to Hungary: PM Orbán’s US talks will mark the end of Hungary's isolation

April Foley has highlighted how Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s upcoming talks in the United States “will mark the end of a decade-long period of high-level diplomatic isolation of Hungary”

The former US Ambassador to Hungary, April Foley has highlighted how Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s upcoming talks in the United States “will mark the end of a decade-long period of high-level diplomatic isolation of Hungary”.

In an article published in The Washington Times on Sunday, Foley said PM Orbán’s meeting with US President Donald Trump, scheduled for Monday, “is widely applauded by friends of Hungary, like myself, who hold that keeping our allies close should be a prime strategic goal of US foreign policy.”

Foley said that “during the Obama years” central and eastern European countries “rightfully felt neglected, while the US administration’s efforts to reset relations with Russia overwrote long-standing friendships America had cultivated on Europe’s edge.”

The former ambassador went on to say that “US meddling in Hungary’s domestic affairs and its criticism without engagement left a deep scar on bilateral relations”.

Foley said that “the Trump administration was right to discontinue the reset with Russia, rethink US policy toward Hungary and the region, and take great power competition seriously. It took the bold leadership of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to break with almost a decade of failed policy.”

Foley called defense cooperation the backbone of bilateral ties and said that it was “wise diplomacy for America to focus on expanding that cooperation”.

Regarding China’s Belt and Road Initiative, Foley said it was “an alarmingly appealing alternative to countries like Hungary” and added that “the Trump administration is right to be more forceful in economic and trade diplomacy toward Hungary”.

Read the article here.