Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s upcoming talks in the United States “will mark the end of a decade-long period of high-level diplomatic isolation of Hungary”, former US Ambassador to Hungary April Foley wrote in an article published in The Washington Times. Orbán’s meeting with US President Donald Trump on Monday “is widely applauded by friends of Hungary, like myself, who hold that keeping our allies close should be a prime strategic goal of US foreign policy,” Foley said. “During the Obama years” central and eastern European countries “rightfully felt neglected, while the US administration’s efforts to reset relations with Russia overwrote long-standing friendships America had cultivated on Europe’s edge,” Foley said. She went on to say that “US meddling in Hungary’s domestic affairs and its criticism without engagement left a deep scar on bilateral relations”.
In her article, Foley said that “the Trump administration was right to discontinue the reset with Russia, rethink US policy toward Hungary and the region, and take great power competition seriously. It took the bold leadership of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to break with almost a decade of failed policy.” Foley called defence cooperation the backbone of bilateral ties and said that it was “wise diplomacy for America to focus on expanding that cooperation”.
Concerning China’s Belt and Road Initiative, Foley said it was “an alarmingly appealing alternative to countries like Hungary” and added that “the Trump administration is right to be more forceful in economic and trade diplomacy toward Hungary”.