“It is good news for both Hungary and the world that the politics of U.S. President Donald Trump may be summarised as stating that the national interest comes first”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Tuesday in Budapest.

During his opening lecture at a conference entitled “Is a New America Coming into Being?”, organised by the Századvég Foundation, the Minister highlighted: “This means the end of an unnatural state of affairs in which we had to be ashamed of the fact, and ‘could only state with downcast eyes’, that our own nation comes first”.

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Referring to the title of the conference, Mr. Szijjártó declared: “A new America is indeed being born, and this is not a complete process; the new America is in continuous development”. “Our only task is to protect Hungary’s interests and use the changes to our own benefit”, the Minister emphasised.

“We are living in a new world and in a new world order. The past week has been a wake-up call for many, and has made it clear that the threat of terrorism has become part of everyday life in Europe”, he explained. “It has also become clear that there are topics about which we thought there was a wide-ranging global consensus, and the implementation of which we can all take as given, but it seems that some of these accords are proving to be false and are being placed in an entirely new light”, he pointed out.

“Trump’s election was a major surprise, but it is the people of America who elect their President; he is not chosen by the international media or the international political elite”, the Foreign Minister highlighted. “Since Trump was elected by the people, it is not right to question the fact that he is now realising the political concept for which he was elected”, he pointed out.

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“We can now choose between two strategies: there is the ‘strategy of complaining’, but that will not change anything, or instead we can make decisions that will also make us capable of exploiting the situation to our own benefit even in these new and unexpected conditions”, Mr. Szijjártó explained. “Old accords and dogmas have already been refuted in this new set of conditions, and this will probably continue to be the case in future”, he said.

According to Mr. Szijjártó, with relation to the situation in the United States, Hungary must place emphasis on pinpointing the effects that require the implementation of new measures, and on where it can realistically profit from these changes. “These include the fact that the world has become multipolar, meaning there is a chance that fewer ‘mistaken international policy decisions’ will be made that leave unsolved issues in their wake.

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Another change is that efforts to achieve global security are being placed onto new foundations. It has been declared that it is the right and duty of every country to defend its borders and that nobody can be forced to live with people with whom they do not wish to, and that arbitrarily designating a country where someone wants to live and to get there even by illegally crossing national borders is not a fundamental human right”, he listed. “New criteria are also being enforced with relation to global trade; according to Trump, trade must be fair and equitable”, he added.

In his lecture, U.S. Congressman Connie Mack spoke about the fact that during his election campaign President Trump had stressed the importance of protecting the country and its borders, and the fact that he gained such support with this message indicates the frustration of American society.

“It is people’s fundamental wish to live in security, and Trump provided a response to this wish”, he said, adding that the last U.S. presidential election was a historic one, and it is now Trump’s duty to fulfil his promises.

“It is good that there are countries, such as Hungary, who are reacting positively to the changes. Hungarian-American cooperation is excellent, and the two countries share many foreign policy interests”, he highlighted.

According to Connie Mack, the task of American diplomacy is not to tell Hungary what to do, but to tighten relations between the two countries, and this is exactly what the new U.S. administration plans on doing.

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In his opening speech, Chairman of the Századvég Foundation Zsolt Barthel-Rúzsa recalled that the U.S. presidential election was held six months ago, relegating the Brexit referendum to second place on the list of recent surprises.

According to Mr. Barthel-Rúzsa, Donald Trump’s presidency has opened a new chapter in the history of bilateral relations and within the system of international relations, but the related uncertainty also represents a new opportunity for Hungary. “The reorganisation of political power in the United States means the birth of a totally new American foreign policy and could see the development of a realist and pragmatist foreign policy centred around the national interest”, he explained.

“Hungary should not be afraid of the message being sent by its American partner, but should instead take heart, because their standpoints are similar in many respects”, the Chairman of the Századvég Foundation highlighted.