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Hungary’s Orban ditches NATO summit to meet with Donald Trump

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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban departed the NATO summit in Washington, D.C., on Thursday to meet with Donald Trump in Florida, a source familiar with the meeting told Fox News Digital. 

The New York Times first broke the story, citing a Trump campaign official and a person close to the former president. The report did not indicate what the pair would discuss at this impromptu meeting, but Orban has crisscrossed the globe over the past week after assuming the role as president of the European Union. 

Orban arrived in the U.S. this week to attend the multi-day NATO summit, which celebrates the 75th anniversary of the organization’s founding and occurs at a time when members remain concerned about Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and what the future holds for the broader European Union. 

Hungary’s presidency will last six months as part of a rotating leadership scheme for the bloc and does not provide much actual power, but Orban wasted no time in using that office to start holding discussions with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping before his meeting with Trump. 

Orban has long admired Trump, going so far as to invoke the former president with a quip that Hungary would ‘make Europe great again,’ and Trump met with Orban at Mar-a-Lago in March when trying to court foreign policy in the U.S. 

During an interview with German journalist and author Paul Ronzheimer, Orban said that there is a ‘very, very high chance that the next American president will be not the same president who is today,’ and he refused to be drawn on questions about President Biden’s fitness for office. 

The rest of Europe has remained less than enamored with Orban, though, especially in light of his foreign visit blitz in the past 10 days. An EU diplomat confirmed to Fox News Digital that a majority of member states already have considerably lowered the level of participation in the informal council meetings that will be held in Hungary during the presidency term.

In some capitals, also, officials have discussed how to use EU treaties to limit Orban’s impact. The diplomat argued that ‘EU institutions should not have fallen into Orban’s trap in the first place, and Hungary should not have been allowed to assume the role of the presidency.’ 

‘The EU legislation shall be used to protect the Union and the unity, not the imaginary idea of imagined unity,’ the diplomat said. 

Orban’s visit to Russia shocked many of his peers, leading European Union Foreign Policy chief Josep Borrell to rush out a statement stressing that Orban has no mandate from the union in discussions with foreign leaders and that he is ‘not representing the EU in any form’ during the visits. 

Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo described Orban’s visit to Putin as ‘disturbing’ news, writing on social media platform X that the visit shows ‘disregard for the duties of the EU presidency and undermines interests of the European Union.’ 

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis wrote on social media platform X that ‘Mr. Orban might be abusing the position of the EU presidency, but what he is certainly not doing is representing either NATO or the EU.’

‘He does not speak for my country or any country except his own,’ Landsbergis stressed.

A spokesman for the Trump campaign did not respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment by the time of publication. 

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