The Mathias Corvinus Collegium’s annual festival of conservative thought was held last weekend in the picturesque border town of Esztergom, by the river Danube. One of this year’s key speakers was Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó, who spoke about a range of issues concerning foreign policy and diplomacy.
Szijjártó’s speech also contained a message to the newly appointed US Ambassador to Hungary, David Pressman. During his senate hearing, Pressman made some strong remarks that, in the eyes of many, have called into question his willingness to maintain his diplomatic impartiality and to nurture a positive relationship between the Hungarian government and his own.
In his speech, Péter Szijjártó had rejected the suggestion that Pressman’s accreditation should be withheld. He was recently approved by the US Senate by a vote of 61:30, only Republican senators voted against his appointment. He said that the Hungarian Foreign Office is ready to welcome the US representative on the basis of mutual respect.
However, reacting to the ambassador appointee’s somewhat patronizing tone during his Senate hearing, the Foreign Minister made it clear that when Hungary sends ambassadors to a foreign nation, they are not sent there with the aim of becoming provincial governors who are expected to interfere in the internal political processes of their hosts. To the contrary, they are expressly forbidden to do so.
We do not know any better what is good for a given country than the people who live there. And if they think what they have is bad, then they will make a clear choice in the next election,”
Szijjártó then hinted at the fact that during David Pressman’s hearing, one heard nothing but how terrible the situation is in Hungary. The FM made no secret of the fact that in the past, he had indeed informed European ambassadors that if they tried to interfere in the Hungarian elections in April, cooperation between the countries would suffer.
Featured Image: MTI/Illyés Tibor