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Hungarian PM Orban held 'informal' meeting with Polish party leader

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 07.01.2016 09:20
Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban met with Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of governing Polish party Law and Justice, for six hours on Wednesday, although the themes of the talks have not been disclosed.
Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban (C) in Niedzica, southern Poland, on Wednesday evening. Photo: PAP/Janek GurkaPrime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban (C) in Niedzica, southern Poland, on Wednesday evening. Photo: PAP/Janek Gurka

The meeting, which took place in a lodging house in Niedzica, southern Poland (rather than in the former Hungarian castle in the town, as had been reported on Wednesday), had not been formally announced by either Orban's Fidesz party, or Kaczyński's Law and Justice.

I think it was a necessary conversation between two leaders of important countries in our region,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture Piotr Gliński told the TVN station on Thursday.

It fits perfectly into our foreign policy programme, namely building friendly, strong relationships with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.”

Although a debate is due to be held by the European Commission next week on the rule of law in Poland, Gliński brushed off suggestions that Kaczyński had sought advice on how to manage criticism from Brussels.

I think that Jaroslaw Kaczyński knows how to deal with relations with the European Union,” Gliński said, before adding that Budapest had been subjected to similar treatment by certain forces of political ideologies in Brussels.”

When asked why Orban's Polish counterpart Prime Minister Beata Szydło had not been present, Gliński said that “that was the formula,” noting that “there is a certain division of power on our side.”

Law and Justice won the general election on 25 October, and in recent months, both the Polish and Hungarian governments have taken a sceptical line on the EU's policy on immigrants from the Middle East.

Jarosław Kaczyński is a longstanding admirer of the conservative government of Viktor Orban, and when Law and Justice lost the general election in 2011, he said he was “deeply convinced that the day will come when it will work out for us and we will have Budapest in Warsaw.” (nh/pk)

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