Defending Diplomacy Amidst Condemnation: Hungary’s Stand on Belarus
The European Parliament’s Condemnation
In a recent event, the European Parliament (EP) passed a resolution condemning the meeting held between Hungarian Foreign Minister, Peter Szijjártó, and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in February. The resolution, which received an overwhelming 453 votes in favor against a meager 21, criticized Lukashenko’s regime for its systematic human rights abuses and political oppression. Additionally, it pointed out Szijjártó’s visit as being contrary to the EU policy, especially concerning the ongoing aggressive war against Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia.
Retaliation from Hungarian Representatives
During a refueling stop at Almaty, Kazakhstan, Szijjártó retaliated to the EP’s resolution. He questioned the credibility of the EP, pointing out the involvement of several of its members in corruption cases in the past. However, he did not elaborate on how this would undermine the EP’s stance on human rights. His response was accompanied by a photo of himself.
Foreign Secretary Tamás Menczer also commented on the matter. In a video message, Menczer, who often criticizes Western allies, initially referred to the European Parliament as a ‘band of thieves’. He went on to argue that Szijjártó was criticized for being ‘pro-peace’, in contrast to the ‘pro-war, typically corrupt, bought, paid’ representatives of the EP. He accuses the body of acting against European interests as it ‘does not want an immediate ceasefire and peace’, while the war is ‘lost the most by Europe, in addition to Ukraine and Russia’.
Justifying the Meeting
Menczer presented two arguments to justify the meeting with Lukashenko. Firstly, they believe that ‘communication channels should be kept open especially during wars’, and secondly, the pipeline carrying Russian crude oil passes through Belarus. These energy security considerations may have played a role in Szijjártó’s visit. To emphasize the Hungarian government’s peace-loving stance, Menczer posted a white dove emoji in the comments section.
Summary of Hungary’s Position
In summary, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó and Foreign Secretary Tamás Menczer have defended their decision to meet with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, arguing it was crucial to maintain open channels of communication during wartime. They criticized the European Parliament for its condemnation of the meeting, questioning its integrity due to past corruption incidents involving some of its members. They also accused the European Parliament of acting against European interests by not advocating for an immediate ceasefire and peace in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
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