Trump welcomes Viktor Orban to White House

President Trump is holding a series of meetings with controversial Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Monday. Orban, an early supporter of Europe’s growing right-wing populist movement, campaigned to be Hungary’s prime minister on a nationalist-heavy agenda, and refers to Hungary as an “illiberal democracy.”
Republicans and Democrats in Congress have expressed concerns over Orban’s visit citing what they call his anti-Semitic and xenophobic comments. During their Oval Office meeting, the president acknowledged Orban’s visit “probably might be a little controversial but that’s ok.”

Orban won a fourth term in April 2018, whipping up support by promising to protect the country’s sovereignty against the European Union and its Christian majority from Muslim migrants.

The Hungarian prime minister would be the latest strongman leader Mr. Trump has welcomed to the White House. The president has also received Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte. His rocky relationship with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un shows little signs of total dissolution, and he has treated Russian adversary President Vladimir Putin with warmth, despite ongoing investigations into Russian meddling in the U.S. election process. Orban also has a friendly relationship with the Russian president.

The two leaders are likely to discuss immigration — the two share a hardline view on the issue — during their two bilateral meetings on Monday. Orban has been on the record as saying Hungary “must protect its ethnic and cultural composition” from immigrants. The topic of border barriers could come up. During the European migrant crisis in 2015, Hungary began erecting razor wire barriers, electrified fencing, cameras and motion and heat detectors on its borders to deter Afghan, Kurdish, Iraqi and other migrants from passing through Hungary.

The Associated Press points out that in September 2015, over 9,000 migrants entered Hungary every day. Now, about two dozen are caught trying to cross daily.

Categories: National, US & World News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *