Hungary summons US ambassador after Biden remarks on Orbán

U.S. Ambassador to Hungary David Pressman. (MTI/Szilárd Koszticsák)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

Hungary’s Foreign Ministry has summoned the U.S. Ambassador to Budapest David Pressman to explain President Joe Biden’s recent disparaging remarks about Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Tuesday.

At a campaign event in Philadelphia, Biden made a reference to the recent visit of Orbán to former President Donald Trump.

“You know who he’s meeting with today down at Mar-a-Lago? Orbán of Hungary, who stated flatly he doesn’t think democracy works, he’s looking for dictatorship,” Biden told supporters.

Answering reporters’ questions at a press conference, Szijjártó said, “We are not obliged to tolerate such lies, even if they are told by the president of the United States. As a consequence, we have invited the U.S. ambassador to the ministry and asked him to produce the quote with the place and date where Viktor Orbán said what Joe Biden attributes to him as a statement.

“Obviously, no such statement was made, so we could not get any kind of substantive response,” Szijjártó underlined.

Szijjártó also said that bilateral relations are made extremely difficult by the ambassador’s statement that the official U.S. position is that “here in Hungary we are building a dictatorship,” because it is not the government that is being insulted, but the country.

“The prime minister and the government are not running this country by a random draw of lots, but by the people’s choice. We have won four elections in a row, and the people have set the direction of governance, which we are implementing,” the Hungarian minister explained.

“So, this is a very serious insult. We have objected to it, we have summoned the ambassador, and this kind of thinking of the U.S. president, of the Democratic administration, is a serious burden on our bilateral relations,” he added.

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