According to a recent social media post published by the US Embassy in Budapest, US Ambassador-Designate David Pressman’s goals in Hungary are clear:
“The opportunity to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Hungary is an opportunity to bring our countries closer together, and to deepen the ties between our economies and our people. And that is essential, because
the fates of our nations are already very much linked. A free, safe, and secure Europe, of which Hungary is an integral part, is fundamental to a free, safe, and secure United States.”
The conciliatory tone and bridge-building emphasis is in some contrast with Pressman’s earlier presentation in front of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on June 23. Here he vowed to bring his passion for US interests and values to Hungary as an ambassador, and complained about the allegedly “obvious” influence of Russia and China in Hungary. He also listed human rights, media freedom, and the rule of law as areas that he sees as being undermined in Hungary, where he claims to have detected “deeply troubling trends.” The nominee-ambassador also spoke of his “enormous concerns” and used the term “democratic backsliding” in relation to Hungary.
The soon-to-be ambassador’s newly found diplomatic approach will no doubt serve his goal of deepening the ties between the two countries well, as the imperative of positive relations between the two have grown to the level of strategic importance ever since the start of the war in Ukraine in February. Moreover, Pressman cannot disregard the fact that the Hungarian Prime Minister is widely known and respected in certain American political circles, which has been made clear during his recent visit and speech at CPAC in Dallas.