Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó Speaks at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC

Publicated on: July 17, 2017

Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó welcomed a new era of US foreign policy based on mutual respect and guided by the policy of non-interventionism in a speech delivered at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC on Friday, July 14.

Vice President of The Heritage Foundation James Carafano introduced Mr. Szijjártó as a preeminent member of Central Europe’s new generation of politicians and leaders. “It was this generation that led Central Eastern Europe to freedom, and their entry into power is proof of the strength of freedom,” said Carafano.

Foreign Minister Szijjártó spoke at length about and highlighted five critical challenges the European Union currently faces: the global fight against terrorism; the ongoing migration crisis; the war in Ukraine; European energy security; and the departure of the United Kingdom from the EU (Brexit).

Mr. Szijjártó argued strongly in favor of a European Union that empowers strong member states. Hungary believes that EU member states themselves must give European answers to today’s problems rather than expecting the institutions in Brussels to provide the answers for them, said the Foreign Minister.

The Foreign Minister also called for increased dialogue and a normalization of US-Russia relations. “History teaches us that whenever any conflict evolved between East and West, Central Europe found itself on the receiving end,” stressed Mr. Szijjártó.

“When we root for the US President’s efforts to improve relations with Russia, we don’t do so because we’re pro-Russian or pro-American, but simply because we’re pro-Hungarian. We must protect the security of the Hungarian people,” added the Foreign Minister.

Speaking on the topic of energy security, the Foreign Minister stated that Hungary is eager to diversify its energy sources and is interested in purchasing liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States, but noted that Europe does not currently possess adequate infrastructure necessary for such energy diversification.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó, traveling on a one-day visit to the United States, also signed an agreement with Maryland Secretary of Higher Education James D. Fielder, Jr. assuring the continued and uninterrupted operation of McDaniel College Budapest campus in the Fall of 2017.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)