Former US President Donald Trump is expected to visit Hungary in the coming weeks at the invitation of Viktor Orbán, The Guardian reports. According to the article, Trump has not yet responded to the request.
This article was originally published on our sister-site, Ungarn Heute.
“The invitation comes at a time when Orbán is moving into campaign mode ahead of a hard-fought election on April 3 in which his Fidesz party will face a united opposition coalition in what is seen as the biggest challenge since he became prime minister 12 years ago,” The Guardian wrote on its website.
The newspaper, citing Hungarian government sources, reports that the invitation to Trump was sent by the pro-government think tank Center for Fundamental Rights (“Alapjogokért Központ”):
People in Fidesz would really like Trump to visit Budapest in March,”
said the unnamed source.
Fidesz believes that an in-person visit by the former US president would be seen as a major campaign boost.
These visits have a huge influence in the Hungarian conservative community, because they see [Trump] as an icon, as someone who spent his presidency in a strong headwind,”
said a source close to Fidesz.
According to The Guardian, the sticking point may be that Trump is afraid of the coronavirus, which is why he hasn’t traveled abroad much lately.
Liz Harrington, a spokeswoman for Trump, declined to comment on the press reports.
The newspaper also turned to Zoltán Kovács, the State Secretary for International Communication and Relations, and inquired about the details of the invitation, but he curtly replied with a “no.”
It is likely that Trump has been invited to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), due to be held March 25-26 in Budapest. It will be the first time a European country hosts the flagship conservative event.
Miklós Szanthó, the director of the Center for Fundamental Rights, told the Hungarian state news agency MTI that a number of US senators would attend the conference, as well as Santiago Abascal, the leader of Spain’s Vox party, and Jair Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo, The Guardian reports. Earlier, Trump attended events of the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Fidesz is hoping that Trump will join Orbán as the event’s keynote speaker, the Hungarian government source said.
“According to our plans, a number of high profile Americans will attend CPAC Hungary, including politicians, as well as prominent thinkers and opinion leaders on the right. We are certain that any fresh information regarding guests and speakers will reach you in due course of time,” added Szanthó.
Featured image: US President Donald Trump receives Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at the White House in Washington, D.C., on May 13, 2019. Photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI