Address by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at an event marking the United States’ Independence Day
Budapest Congressional Center, Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear David and Sheila,
I appreciate your invitation. It is an honour for me to address you all on the occasion of your Independence Day. Nine years have passed since the last time I addressed you on this occasion. When I look back on those nine years I understand the point of the great Thomas Jefferson, who said: “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” 243 years ago you Americans declared the independence of your country. During this long period of time it has been proven that, without any kind of doubt, an exceptional country and an exceptional nation has been established. Your President is right: America began the greatest political journey in human history in 1776. When two and a half centuries pass, nothing remains unchanged. This is usually true when it comes to foreign policy. If I look back at the last two and half centuries of Hungarian foreign policy I can identify only a few permanent aspects: one of them is definitely the significance we have always attached to American-Hungarian bilateral relations. Over the years, our relations have developed into a very colourful picture full of excitement and emotions: we had our highs and lows. We had good times and bad times. And I have to tell you that we Hungarians feel that now we are having good times. Thank you, David, for that. But the million dollar question is what made the difference between good times and bad times, between highs and lows. My answer is rather simple. Our relations have always been determined by whether there was an overlap between the values promoted by the American administration and the values which have been protected by the Hungarians. The answer to this question currently is definitely “yes”. Nowadays we promote and protect the same values. You Americans consider America first. For a good reason. And for the same good reason we consider Hungary first. And we mutually respect each other’s patriotic position. Both of us believe that guaranteeing the security of our citizens is a must: it is an obligation of the state. And we both act accordingly. We both consider equality between men and women a value that must be well protected. The bases of our nations are families, which consist of a father and a mother and their children, on whom we can establish our future. And neither of us is willing to accept the hypocrisy of modern politics, which neglects the fact that Christianity is the most persecuted religion globally. We are determined to work together to help Christian communities in need wherever they live in the world.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are a Central European country that clearly understood the lessons of history. We know very well than whenever there was conflict between the East and the West, we Central Europeans have always lost. That is why we are interested in peace and stability in our region; and we know very well that the best way to achieve it is our membership of NATO, the world’s most successful defence alliance.
Dear American Friends,
I can assure you on this wonderful occasion that you can count on us in the fight for our common values, whether it be in the meeting rooms or on the battlefields.
May God bless America, may God save Hungary!