Relations between Hungary and the United States are heading in the right direction, according to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Tillerson told Zoltán Balog, minister of Human Resources, the good news during a brief exchange with him at a prayer breakfast in Washington, DC on Thursday.
According to MTI, Balog is on a four-day visit to Washington, where he has held talks with US lawmakers, opened an exhibition about persecuted Christians in the Middle East, and attended a prayer breakfast.
Balog quoted Tillerson as saying that a series of new appointments in the State Department had brought about a change in the department’s approach to Hungary. On the topic of the Hungarian government’s efforts taken to protect persecuted Christians, Balog said Hungary and the US have developed a close working relationship in this area.
He added that the US has shown a growing interest in all that Hungary has been doing for persecuted Christians. Hungary has pledged to help Christians in the Middle East, but rather than donate to international organizations, it directly aids Christian communities that want to stay in the region instead of fleeing and becoming refugees, he added.
“We’ve been contacted by specific American organizations asking us to share our experiences with them,” the minister said. One such organization is the US government’s aid agency USAID, and the minister held a meeting with the group’s leader, Mark Green, while in the States.
The minister also met leaders and members of the biggest lobby group for aiding Christians as well as former Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, who was recently appointed US ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.
Balog said he and his negotiating partners had also discussed ways to give new momentum to Hungarian-US ties. “They promised to help in any way they could,” he said.