Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has praised Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for his immigration and anti-terrorism proposals that he says make him a better option for Hungary and Europe than his Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton in a Saturday speech.
Mr. Orbán, who hit international headlines at the height of the migrant crisis last year by ordering border fences built to stop the influx, said that the ideas of the “upstanding American presidential candidate” about the need for the best intelligence services and his opposition to “democracy export” – a policy Mr. Orbán has previously caled “madness” – were also applicable in Europe.
Gaining in the polls: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump now has support from Central Europe (photo: nbcnews.com)
“I am not Donald Trump’s campaigner,” Mr. Orbán said at the closing event in of the Tusványos summer university, at Tusnádfürdő (Băile Tuşnad), in an area of Romania with a large ethnic Hungarian population. He said he had listened to Mr. Trump’s proposals to stop terrorism, and “I myself could not have drawn up better what Europe needs.”
Mr. Orbán, whose speech was broadcast on Hungarian state media, blamed the West for what he saw as failed interventions in countries such as Egypt and Libya. He added that Hungary was not “indifferent” to political and human rights in Turkey, but that its stability was most important.
“If I’m asked what is Hungary’s strongest expectation regarding Turkey today, we will put stability first,” the Hungarian leader said. “If Turkey becomes unstable, many tens of millions of people from that region will hurtle toward Europe without any sort of filtering, screening or control.”
Mr. Orbán was critical of the European Union’s leadership in Brussels, and said that individual countries in Europe should have more authority to make its own decisions on specific issues, such as migration. “We have to make it clear that our problem is not in Mecca, but in Brussels,” Mr. Orbán said. “The bureaucrats in Brussels are an obstacle for us, not Islam”, he insisted in the speech.
The speech has made PM Orbán the first incumbent international leader to endorse the Republican candidate’s presidential bid, Hungarian media has reported.
In the recent past, Mr. Orbán has been critical of the Democtatic political elite’s role in the migrant crisis, and suggested in a May interview that Hungarian-American financier George Soros, who is known for bankrolling liberal causes and his pro-migration stance, is behind the Clinton family and other leaders of the Democratic Party.
photo: Péter Szabó/index.hu