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Hungary’s Orban to visit Israel next month amidst strengthening ties

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attend a news conference in Budapest, Hungary, 18 July, 2017 [Bernadett Szabo/Reuters]
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attend a news conference in Budapest, Hungary, 18 July, 2017 [Bernadett Szabo/Reuters]

Hungary’s hard-right premier Viktor Orban is slated to visit Israel on 19 July, reports Haaretz.

According to the paper, “the visit was coordinated at a meeting of national security advisers of the Visegrad group”, which includes Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

The meeting was “also attended by Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat.”

As noted by Haaretz, “Orban was recently reelected in an April election fought on a fiercely anti-immigration platform that demonised Jewish American billionaire George Soros and liberal NGOs he backs.”

Just last week, “Hungary’s parliament approved legislation that criminalises some help given to illegal immigrants.”

Read: Israel’s love-in with Hungary’s anti-Semites exposes the ugly core of Zionism

According to Haaretz: “Netanyahu made a congratulatory phone call to Orban after his reelection and invited him to visit Israel.”

In addition, “in February, Netanyahu met a senior foreign policy adviser to Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto”, where they “discussed the possibility that Israel will host a meeting of the Visegrad group.”

“If Netanyahu’s efforts bear fruit and the summit is held in Israel,” Haaretz notes, “it will mark a new level in relations with these Central European counties, whose governments are considered the most right-wing in Europe.”

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