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Trump Scheduled to Meet Hungarian Leader Orbán at Mar-a-Lago in Upcoming Week

The two conservative leaders have frequently complimented each other.

Former President Donald Trump will meet privately with Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at Mar-a-Lago next week, a source with Mr. Orban’s team confirmed to The Epoch Times.

Over the last few years, the Republican frontrunner and Mr. Orbán have frequently praised each other.

Throughout the 2024 election campaign trail, the Republican frontrunner has described the Hungarian leader as a critical figure in the worldwide conservative movement.

At a Jan. 20 New Hampshire rally, President Trump called him “a great man” and a “great leader” in Europe.

“He is the Prime Minister of Hungary. He is a very great leader, a very strong man. Some people don’t like him because he’s too strong,” he said.

This past summer, President Trump championed Mr. Orbán as “a great leader and man.”

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“The wonderful people of Hungary are lucky to have him!” he wrote on Truth Social.

Mr. Orbán, who served as prime minister from 1998 to 2002 and then returned to the position in 2010, has shared the same level of admiration.

In May 2023, the Hungarian conservative spoke to Republicans and European allies at the second annual meeting of the Conservative Political Action Coalition (CPAC) Europe in Budapest. During his prepared remarks, Mr. Orbán stated there would not have been a military conflict in Eastern Europe if President Trump were in office.

“I’m sure if President Trump would be the president, there would be no war in Ukraine and Europe,” he said. “Come back, Mr. President. Make America great again and bring us peace.”

The prime minister decried liberalism as a “virus,” slammed “woke culture,” and rejected the “LGBTQ lobby.”

“Hungary is actually an incubator where experiments are done on the future of conservative policies. Hungary is the place where we didn’t just talk about defeating the progressives and liberals and causing a conservative Christian political turn, but we actually did it,” Mr. Orbán said.

This past spring, Mr. Orbán urged the GOP challenger to “keep on fighting” following the first set of charges filed against the billionaire real estate mogul.

Their last face-to-face meeting was in 2022 at President Trump’s New Jersey golf club.

“Great spending time with my friend, Viktor Orbán, the Prime Minister of Hungary. We discussed many interesting topics—few people know as much about what is going on in the world today. We were also celebrating his great electoral victory in April,” President Trump wrote on his social media account.

Criticisms Over Ukraine

Mr. Orbán has faced a flood of criticism over many of his positions.

Critics have complained about Mr. Orbán’s government behaving in an authoritarian manner by clamping down on the free press, migration, political dissent, and LGBTQ people.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban pose for a photo prior to their talks on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on Oct. 17, 2023. (Grigory Sysoyev/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban pose for a photo prior to their talks on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on Oct. 17, 2023. (Grigory Sysoyev/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

The Hungarian leader’s frequent criticisms of Ukraine have captured the most attention and condemnation from Western governments and media. Mr. Orbán has conceded that Kyiv cannot win the war and allies should pursue an immediate ceasefire after negotiations.

In December, Mr. Orbán warned that his government, led by the Fidesz party, will have many opportunities to halt Ukraine’s process of joining the European Union.

Speaking with Hungarian state radio, the prime minister admitted that he would “not hesitate for a moment if the financial and economic consequences of this bad decision will be paid by the Hungarians.”

He also asserted that the EU was attempting to prolong the war, adding that giving more funding to Ukraine was “an immediate violation of [Hungary’s] interests.”

“The situation in Ukraine is bad, so no more money should be sent to the war,” he said. “The war should be stopped, and there should be a cease-fire and peace talks. Instead, now they want to give money to keep the war going.”

A chorus of U.S. officials has likened Mr. Orbán as a leader who “embraces” Russian President Vladimir Putin and disregards Hungary’s NATO allies.

“That disregard is evident when the [Hungarian] prime minister embraces Putin, when his government threatens to hold up crucially needed aid to its neighbor, Ukraine, while Ukrainian men, women, and children are murdered by war criminals,” said David Pressman, the U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, during a December American Chamber of Commerce event in Budapest.

Despite months of blocking membership, Hungary’s parliament voted on Feb. 26 to ratify Sweden’s bid to join NATO. The historically neutral Scandinavian country applied to join the military alliance nearly two years ago.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson called the ratification a “historic day” and a “big step” after two centuries of neutrality.

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