Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has lambasted the Biden administration’s “lecturing” approach towards Hungary’s hardline nationalist government, while expressing hope that the country’s ties with the United States can be repaired after a souring of relations under former President Donald Trump.
Speaking to reporters during a foreign policy forum in Budapest Monday, Szijjarto said the White House was yet to open a direct channel with Hungary and had instead attempted to push Hungary to upend its domestically popular unorthodox policies with sanctions and warnings.
“Quite frankly, it sounded more as if we were lectured than as if we were spoken to as an ally and a partner,” said Szijjartoo. He added that Budapest expected that, in time, “the tone of the exchange to become more in line with our mutual strategic interest [and] our mutual alliance commitments.”
The foreign minister — who serves in Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s cabinet — said Hungary “overwhelmingly welcomed” Trump’s election because his administration pursued a “pragmatic and value-for-value cooperation” with the country and was “not obsessed with public criticism” of Orban’s illiberal policies. He went on to express his hope that talks with Washington under the Biden administration will result in “win-win solutions and cooperation.”