US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met representatives of NGOs in Budapest, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (TASZ) said in a joint statement. “Concerns regarding the rule of law and the situation of NGOs were highlighted at the meeting,” the statement said.
The statement said that co-head of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, Márta Pardavi, raised issues such as “impairments to the independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers”. It added that she had also raised “government measures that weaken constitutionality and legislation approved in recent years that impairs Hungarian democracy”.
TASZ managing director Stefánia Kapronczay highlighted “the importance of an independent and diverse press,” while K-Monitor director Sándor Léderer presented a report on “the situation in Hungary in respect of corruption”.
The NGOs said the fact that Pompeo had met them and had expressed an interest in their opinions demonstrated that top US officials were dedicated to protecting the values of constitutionality and the role of civil society, even when it came to relations with allies.