Hungary joins Trump’s attack on 'open-borders' agenda at UN, says 'national interest comes first'
Trump targets China and Iran; Heritage Foundation foreign policy vice president James Carafano reacts.
UNITED NATIONS -- A day after President Trump ripped into the “evil” agenda of "open-border activists" this week and warned that the future belongs to “patriots,” Hungary’s top diplomat is offering his support as he prepares to take the stage and accuse U.N. organizations of attacking human rights in their quest to promote migration as a fundamental right.
“I believe the whole world must understand that national interest comes first and those countries that are ready to act accordingly must not be attacked and must not be unfairly treated, considered and judged,” Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó told Fox News Wednesday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.
Szijjártó said that when he takes the stage on Thursday evening, he will speak about how “dangerous” new waves of migration coming to Europe are in terms of both law and security.
“We understand there is a debate within the United Nations and that within this debate the real fundamental human rights are ignored and issues which are not matters of fundamental human rights are being falsely portrayed as if they were part of the fundamental human rights, meaning that a right to a safe life in your home is a fundamental human right and this is totally ignored and denied by the U.N. organizations and they try to sell migration as if it were a matter of fundamental human rights -- which it is not,” he said.
The message is similar to that of Trump, who on Tuesday touted a nationalist message when he said that “wise leaders always put the good of their own people and their country first.”
“The future does not belong to globalists, the future belongs to patriots," he said. "The future belongs to sovereign and independent nations who protect their citizens, respect their neighbors and honor the differences that make each country special and unique."
He later had a fiery message for those who oppose hardline policies against illegal immigration and want less border security.
"Today, I have a message for those open border activists who cloak themselves in the rhetoric of social justice: Your policies are not just, your policies are cruel and evil," he said, accusing them of promoting human smuggling and the "erasure of national borders."
Those words, while met largely with silence in the chamber, are music to the ears of countries with nationalist governments such as Hungary. Prime Minister Viktor Orban has, like Trump, focused much of his government’s attention on border security since the outbreak of the European migration crisis in 2015.
Szijjártó on Wednesday called Trump’s speech “refreshing.”
“So far it was not a habit by the biggest [countries] to speak about patriotism in such a way, and you can be sure that the global liberal elite is extremely frustrated and they will renew the attacks and make them even stronger on President Trump after his speech, because he has strengthened his anti-mainstream position in a very clear way,” he said.
Since 2015, Hungary has restricted immigration, built two barriers along its border and deployed its military, making illegal immigration almost non-existent in the country. It had also passed a package of laws aimed at activists associated with Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros -- who it blames for funding pro-migration activists in the country.
‘We have made it very clear that regardless of any kind of pressure or where it comes from, we keep our border under 100 percent control and that’s why there are continuous attacks on us, so these activists, NGOs mostly with George Soros in the background, they continuously hit and attack Hungary,” he said.
Orban’s Fidesz Party was rewarded with a supermajority in last year’s elections, and polls suggest that situation has not changed. The government has also been emboldened with stronger relations with the U.S. since Trump took office in 2017.
Both the U.S. and Hungary pulled out of the Global Compact on Migration last year, and have been closely aligned on U.N. issues. A recent State Department report found that in 2018, Hungary was one of the countries most closely aligned with the U.S. voting record in the General Assembly.
Apart from immigration, Szijjártó says the U.S. and Hungary are working together on combating the persecution of Christians worldwide, along with Brazil, the Philippines and the Vatican. President Trump on Monday hosted a Global Call to Protect Religious Freedom, and Szijjártó said it was “unacceptable” that the U.N. wasn’t taking the threat seriously.
“It must be recognized that the most persecuted religion all over the Earth is Christianity,” he said. “Four out of five people killed for their beliefs are Christians, 80 percent, and this fact must not be ignored and both Americans and Hungarians are ready to speak about this fact, and ready to act.”
The international cooperation is one sign of the closer U.S.-Hungarian relationship. Szijjártó this week was in West Virginia, signing a memorandum of understanding with the state -- on top of two other agreements with Ohio and Indiana.
Szijjártó pointed to the growing number of countries that are adopting similar nationalist or “patriotic” policies across the globe, including Israel, Britain, Brazil and the U.S. He said that the most important thing is that countries are allowed to make decisions for themselves and respect those decisions.
“I think what matters is at the end of the day is the decision of the people, and people go to vote and they decide,” he said