Ambassador Szemerkényi responds to HFP: It is legally “unacceptable” to refuse meeting with Jobbik delegation

György Lázár of the Hungarian Free Press published an article about the unprecedented visit of a Jobbik delegation at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington DC where Ambassador Réka Szemerkényi received and briefed them. They also visited the Hungarian Consulate in New York, where they met Hungarian Consul General Mr. Ferenc Kumin.

We asked for feedback from the US State Department, US Ambassador to Hungary Ms. Colleen Bell and Hungarian Ambassador to Washington, Ms. Réka Szemerkényi.

Here is Ms. Réka Szemerkényi’s response.


Dear Sir,

In reference to your blogpost of May 12, 2015 I wish to set the record straight.

Gabor Staudt was in Washington, D.C. on April 21 as a delegate of the Hungarian Parliament to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. It was the Hungarian parliament’s delegation to NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s Committee on Economic and Security that I received on that occasion for a brief courtesy visit.

I categorically reject any sensationalist accusations under any pretext of me „embracing” neo-Nazis. My personal values as well as the Hungarian government’s stance on strongly refusing anti-semitism and any trace of neo-Nazism have always been very clear.

There are very few things I agree on with the Hungarian Free Press blog, but rejecting neo-Nazis is certainly one of them. We can –and should – debate the best way of dealing with political extremism. As the Ambassador of Hungary however, I represent the Hungarian state including its democratic institutions. As such, it would be legally unacceptable for me to pick and choose between its representatives visiting the US as part of official delegations based on my political values.


Dr. Réka Szemerkényi
Ambassador of Hungary

Ambassador Réka Szemerkényi.

Ambassador Réka Szemerkényi.

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