Internal Affairs / President of the Republic Tamás Sulyok is able to pass his calm onto us all; Donald Trump is a president of peace 

President of the Republic Tamás Sulyok is able to pass his calm onto us all; Donald Trump is a president of peace 

Tamás Sulyok is a president of the republic who is stable, predictable and known, and is able to pass his calm onto us all, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stated in an interview on the public service news channel m1 on Sunday in which he described former US President Donald Trump as a president of peace. 

Mr Orbán indicated that Tamás Sulyok, who was inaugurated on Sunday, is the seventh president of the republic of Hungary, and he has had a chance to work with all seven Hungarian heads of state as prime minister. Therefore, he has a good idea about “what kind of a president of the republic is best suited to which situation,” what kind of a president of the republic is best able to serve Hungary in a given situation. 

Now, there was an “unsettled” situation because previous president of the republic Katalin Novák departed due to a clemency case, and this upset the people also emotionally, the Prime Minister highlighted. According to the Prime Minister, in this situation such a president of the republic is best able to serve Hungary’s interests who is stable, calm, predictable and known, someone who is able to pass his calm onto us all, and is able to do that while his competence, expertise and authority are beyond dispute. The former president of the Constitutional Court is such a man, Mr Orbán stated, pointing out that it is an advantage that the country already knows Mr Sulyok from before.

The Prime Minister said the president of the republic is elected by Parliament, he made a recommendation to the majority group in Parliament, and the choice fell on Mr Sulyok. Several names came up as Hungary is a country that is especially strong intellectually, and so there are quite a few excellent people who could have confidently undertaken this job, he added. 

The Left had the same possibility as Members of Parliament in a minority, too, may nominate a candidate for the position of president of the republic, but on this occasion they did not avail themselves of this opportunity, Mr Orbán observed. 

The Prime Minister stressed that Mr Sulyok was a president nominated and elected by Members of the Hungarian Parliament. As Members of Parliament are elected by the people, he is as such – even if only indirectly – also a president elected by the people, he added. 

Mr Orbán also spoke about the fact that before he made his recommendation to the parliamentary groups, he asked to meet Mr Sulyok. At this meeting, he told him that the parliamentary group had not yet decided, there were a few prominent figures in Hungary that they had in mind, but he was one of them, and so he asked whether – if requested by Members of Parliament – he would say yes. At the meeting, a number of foreign policy, moral and constitutional issues emerged, but as this was not the first time they had met – they had known each other for a long time – both the Prime Minister and the parliamentary group were acquainted with his views.

The Prime Minister described Mr Sulyok as a staunch Catholic who regards the appointment not as a matter of vanity or a personal matter, but as a matter of service. We will have a president now who will serve his country, committed with every one of his cells “from top to toe” as a believer, he pointed out. 

Commenting on the fact that the new head of state has only been in office for a few days, but has already been attacked, Mr Orbán said “this is Hungary, it’s like that over here.” 

Speaking about his visit to the United States in the interview, the Prime Minister said he primarily went to the United States because he had been invited by former US President Donald Trump, and secondarily because “there was a job to do.” Given that at present in the realm of politics US-Hungarian relations are categorically bad – despite the fact that we are allies – one of the purposes of the visit was to restore relations, he observed. 

This cannot be done with the incumbent US administration, he stated, saying that the reason for this should be sought in the fact that there is at present a pro-war government in Washington – the Democrats are in power – and they are committed to the war. “At the same time, we are a pro-peace government, meaning that we are at cross purposes,” he added. 

By contrast, Mr Trump is a president of peace, Mr Orbán stressed, observing that in his case “what you see is what you get” as he had already been president before, and so we know precisely what to expect. In his first four years of presidency, Mr Trump concluded wars, and he was the first president for a long time where during his term no new war was started, Mr Orbán said, praising the former US president.

He said Mr Trump stated clearly that his goal was to create peace in the Russo-Ukrainian war, and Hungary itself would like nothing other than peace within the shortest possible time, a ceasefire and the conclusion of the war. “I see no determined, strong man who would be capable of this other than Donald Trump,” the Prime Minister said. 

Mr Orbán also spoke about the fact that while the Americans are not familiar with the details of European culture and history in general, they understand that Ukraine is a country neighbouring Hungary, and if there is a war in your neighbourhood, that is bad. 

They also know that, in addition to moral considerations and geopolitical views, based purely on our own national interests, we must have a vested interest in peace, and therefore, they can count on us in making peace, he observed.

Mr Trump has detailed plans about how to put an end to the war, and these coincide with Hungary’s best interests, Mr Orbán said.

The Prime Minister also said during his trip to the United States, he did not only visit Mr Trump; he also delivered an address in the conservative analyst centre responsible for Mr Trump’s professional programme, the Heritage Foundation. There they look upon Hungary as a special place. They take the view that Europe is a big liberal, progressive ocean, and in that there is an island called Hungary which tries to live, think and behave differently; to use their language, “to do conservative politics.” 

Hungary is held in high esteem in the United States today because it has done things that they, too, would like to do; except there, it just does not work, Mr Orbán indicated. 

Mr Orbán mentioned public security as something that over here we take for granted, and added that Hungary was respected in the United States because “we are Europe’s safest country, and this is recognised by everyone.” 

He observed that they, too, would like to stop migration, except they are unable to. The incumbent president does not even want to, but even Mr Trump ran into difficulties when he did want to. We have a fence which is protected by police officers and soldiers, and they would like something like that in the United States, too, because illegal immigrants are flowing in in the millions, he said. 

It inspires respect in the United States that Hungary stands up for family values, while everyone in the whole of Western Europe keeps talking about “LGBTQ nonsense.”

We are also doing better in the departments of recognition and esteem than we tend to believe, Mr Orbán stated, pointing out that since George Bush Senior, he has met with every US president in person; if nowhere else, then regularly at NATO summits. 

The Republicans understand that at present, US-Hungarian relations are undergoing a hard time because the US government expects things from Hungary that “we don’t want and are unable to deliver on,” he stressed.

He mentioned among these that we should join the war effort, we should say that migration is a good thing, it only has to be managed well, and we should support LGBTQ rights “and the entire system of confused and diverse forms of living together.” 

The incumbent US administration has come to the conclusion that “they are unable to come to an arrangement” with the Hungarian government, and so there is only one solution, namely to replace it, the Prime Minister explained. Therefore, the incumbent US administration openly finances the left-wing opposition, journalists, media and civil-society organisations in order to achieve a change of government. This evidently spoils relations, “we are allies, not servants,” he stated.

He pointed out that the US Democratic government and the leadership of the EU and the largest EU Member States are birds of a feather; they are pro-war governments. Mr Trump and Hungary are pro-peace; it is this difference that lies at the bottom of it all. 

Mr Trump has a clear idea with which it is very difficult to disagree: he will not put a penny into the Russo-Ukrainian war, and so the war will end, the Prime Minister stated. 

Mr Orbán also said it is not easy for Hungary either to raise the funds that we are at present spending on security and weaponry, but we must accept that an era of rearming has begun in Europe, the Americans will not foot the bill of security for us. 

Every European country must undertake its share, including financially, and must have its own army and equipment; we must be able to defend our own countries, or to contribute to the common military capabilities in an alliance, he highlighted. He added that the money we are spending on the army today could be spent elsewhere, but the Russo-Ukrainian war has proved that “you can’t shilly-shally anymore.” 

The Prime Minister said it is great help that Mr Trump’s wife is of Slovenian origin because as a result – compared with the general knowledge of presidents – her husband has more knowledge about this region. He observed that the meeting was familial; the father of the former president’s wife was also present. 

According to Mr Orbán, there is no discrepancy between what we see and reality; the president lives the way he is, and his family is just like it is in reality. Mr Trump has the speciality that already before his presidency “he was a legend,” he said. 

Regarding plans as part of the US presidential campaign to not allow a person to run as a presidential candidate, the Prime Minister said these fit more into the category of dictatorship tools “which are beneath American democracy.” According to his experience, “you can only win if you have suffered for it,” and Mr Trump is “suffering for it like nobody’s business” because what he has to go through is unprecedented. 

Mr Orbán is certain, however, that someone who goes through everything that he is going through – they want to lock him up, they want to sue him, they want to take his money away, they want to disqualify him from the presidential race – but nonetheless keeps fighting and enters the race will – similar to the heroes of Hungarian folk talks – eventually win. 

The Prime Minister highlighted that Mr Trump’s election as president would also be meaningful from an economic point of view. Today in Hungary, there are US investments worth nine billion euros, and trade between the two countries, too, amounts to more or less the same. On this we make a profit of three billion euros. However, the fact that the incumbent US administration has repealed the legal act on the avoidance of double taxation and has failed to adopt a new one is a major obstacle to the strengthening of relations. 

Mr Orbán described the doubling of the trade volume of nine billion euros as a realistic goal. It would mean a great deal to the Hungarian economy if the United States as an ally and an amicable country regarded Hungary as a priority economic and investment destination as well, and by this the Hungarian people, too, would stand to gain much. 

If Joe Biden were to win, “that would be bad news,” Mr Orbán added.

The Prime Minister also said that while not at the meeting with Mr Trump, during the panel discussion in Washington Hungary’s role as a bridge between East and West emerged as an important question.

At present in Hungary, German investments amount to EUR 25 billion, US investments are in the magnitude of nine, so are Chinese investments, while South Korean investments total six billion euros. Today, Chinese and US investments are on a par; however, Chinese investments are increasing, while US investments have come to a halt. Therefore, if the United States wants to keep up with China, they must increase their investments in Hungary, he pointed out. 

Mr Orbán believes there is a chance that, following his election, Mr Trump might conclude a trade agreement with China. It would be good for Hungary if German, Chinese, South Korean and US capital were able to cooperate within the country, while with an increase in the volume of investments, the welfare of Hungarians would also improve, he added. 


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