Trump to Host Hungary's Orban at White House

US President Donald Trump will welcome Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to the White House for talks on trade energy and cyber security

Last night, he was rewarded finally by the president with a White House reception.

President Trump praised Viktor Orban for taking a tough stand on immigration.

We are writing in advance of your scheduled meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to express concern about Hungary's downward democratic trajectory and the implications for usa interests in Central Europe. "He's a respected man".

"I know he's a tough man but he's a respected man", Trump said during a joint press conference.

But relations have since warmed, as Orban's anti-immigration campaigns in Europe echo numerous themes of Trump's own drive to build a wall on the US-Mexico border and his attempts to thwart migrants seeking US asylum.

The meeting in Washington will pay for topics such as regional security, defense cooperation, bilateral relations and energy security government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs tweeted. She's watched Viktor Orban's government demonize groups like hers - the Hungarian Helsinki Committee - which provides legal services for asylums-seekers and for Hungarians.

MARTA PARDAVI: We've had clients in the past few years who've been fired from their jobs for simply expressing a political opinion that was not supportive of the current government.

Critics of Orban say he peddles anti-Semitic tropes in his attacks on George Soros, the Hungarian Jewish billionaire and liberal donor, and that his government has distorted Holocaust history by seeking to shift full blame for the fate of Hungarian Jews on Germany.

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Of particular concern are the increasingly close ties between Hungary - a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member - and Russian Federation.

PARDAVI: So it is worrying that after 30 years of, you know, the fall of the Berlin Wall, we have to worry about whether the USA president will still consider these democratic values important enough to raise them alongside the arms deals or the security deals. Still, Hungary's prime minister had to wait two and a half years for a bilateral meeting with the U.S. president.

Orban has overseen the re-writing of Hungary's constitution to strengthen his control over parliament and an extensive re-design of the country's electoral map to favour his conservative Fidesz party.

KELEMEN: Trump praised him for that, too. "Parallel societies? Muslim communities living together with the Christian community?"

"I'm liking what I see", he said of the roster of 22 Democrats. Orban was bound and determined to take lessons from Vladimir Putin's playbook and consolidate power and further restrict the media, et cetera.

"Don't forget they're a member of NATO, and a very good member of NATO", Trump said.

KELEMEN: She says Orban's government sent two suspected Russian arms dealers back to Russia, denying a US extradition request. Pompeo also has emphasized the risks of doing business with Chinese telecommunications company Huawei, which has significant operations in Hungary, and said there are dangers to allowing "China to gain a bridgehead in Hungary".

Four top foreign policy senators from both parties urged Trump to raise in their meeting Orban's rollbacks of democratic rights. "Orban was essentially running a political platform on the basis of an anti-immigration message", said Berschinski, now a senior vice president at Human Rights First.

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