Orbán to visit Trump in Florida

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Hungarian PM visits Donald Trump amid fears he'll promote Kremlin talking points 

Hungary's far-right prime minister Viktor Orban will visit former US President Donald Trump today. In a departure from the norm for leaders of NATO countries, Orbán isn't anticipated to meet members of the Biden administration during his visit.  

On Thursday he participated in a panel discussion alongside Kevin Roberts, the president of the conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation, before meeting Trump in Florida today. The visit was organized amidst strained relations between Hungary and the US and is closely monitored in diplomatic circles. There are concerns that Orbán might use his connection with the twice-impeached, former US President to push narratives aligning with Russian interests, particularly regarding the war in Ukraine.

The Orban government maintains a tight relationship with Russia and China while retaining ties to former communist security officials. Hungary's domestic policies, characterized by a penchant for skewing business competition, have raised eyebrows among moderate Republicans over the past years.

Hungary's anti-LGBTQ+ legislation casts 'cloud of fear'", Amnesty International report says

A recent report by Amnesty International (AI) sheds light on the implications of Hungary's Propaganda Law, which restricts discussions and depictions of LGBT+ individuals in educational settings and the media. The law, according to the report, has cast a pervasive shadow of apprehension within the media, advertising, and publishing sectors, significantly impacting the LGBTQ+ community.

AI Hungary's LGBTQ+ officer, underscored the law's chilling effect, noting its detrimental impact on access to information, particularly for young people. The report contends that the "propaganda law" unduly restricts individuals' right to access information, deviating from established international human rights, with many of its provisions ambiguously formulated.

Amnesty's analysis suggests that the legislation contributes to the stigmatization and propagation of negative stereotypes surrounding LGBTQ individuals in Hungary, potentially fostering discrimination. The law encumbers the efforts of civil society organizations striving to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. The report points out that Hungary's existing 'media act' already includes safeguards for "protecting children", rendering the additional restrictions imposed by the "propaganda law" unnecessary and disproportionate. 

Szijjártó claims he was asked to deliver a message to the Russians "by a long list of European politicians"

At a press conference with the Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó was asked about dining with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov at the Antalya Diplomatic Forum on the day of Alexei Navalny's funeral.

"It is not a diplomatic achievement to talk only to those with whom one agrees. The real achievement is to maintain contact with those with whom one has a different position on certain issues, " Szijjártó replied. The question referred to Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk's criticism of the odd timing of the dinner with Lavrov.

Szijjártó said there is not only friendship between the Hungarian and Polish nations but a brotherhood that "can withstand political episodes such as the one the Polish Prime Minister has been performing in the last few weeks". "We simply have to respect that we think differently about the possibility of peace in Ukraine. We are a pro-peace government and the government of Poland has a more pro-war position," Hungary's FM said.  "And I think the Prime Minister of Poland would be surprised to know how long the list of European politicians who have asked me in recent years to help them to make contact with the Russians, to set up a meeting or just to get a message across. There have been countries where representatives of opposing sides have asked me to do this, so if there is a request in the future, I will be happy to help," he added.

Orban calls Navalny a ‘chauvinist’ during parliamentary session

During a Monday parliamentary session, MPs from the ruling Fidesz-KDNP coalition and the representatives of the far-right Our Homeland party refused to rise for a minute's silence to commemorate Navalny. Opposition MP Bence Tordai had proposed the tribute to Navalny, urging his fellow MPs to observe a moment of silence.

In response, PM Viktor Orbán expressed gratitude to the ruling coalition's MPs for their stance on the Navalny matter, asserting, "Chauvinists don't deserve respect. And we won't stand up to honor someone who referred to Georgians as rats during the Georgian-Russian war. Otherwise, may he rest in peace." Orbán's comments reflect the ongoing political divisions and controversies surrounding Navalny's legacy and the response to his passing.