World Bulletin / News Desk
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, one of Europe's biggest supporters of Donald Trump, says the US president-elect has told him of his "high regard" for Hungary and invited him to Washington.
"I spoke with the new US president by telephone, and can say that our position has improved a lot. Donald Trump made clear that he holds Hungary in high regard," Orban told Vilaggazdasag news site in an interview published late Thursday.
"He invited me to Washington, I told him that I hadn't been there for a long time as I had been treated as a 'black sheep', to which he replied, laughing: 'Me too'."
Orban was also one of the first world leaders to congratulate him after his shock victory.
The tone signals a marked shift in relations between the US and EU and NATO member Hungary.
After coming to power in 2010 the maverick Hungarian was often accused by Washington of steering Hungary away from democratic norms.
Outgoing President Barack Obama and Trump's defeated election rival Hillary Clinton both warned Hungary against clamping down on the judiciary, press and civil society organisations.
Relations between Budapest and Washington also soured in 2014 when several unnamed Hungarian government officials were denied entry to the US over alleged corruption.
Orban told Vilaggazdasag that with Trump the US will have a president who is "not ideologically restricted, but an open person".
"He is much more interested in success, efficiency and results than in political theories," Orban said.
"This is good for us, as the facts are with us. The economic cooperation has always been good, only the ideologies presented obstacles," he added.
"I sensed that he knows that Hungarians are a brave and freedom-loving people, who in the last six years have achieved outstanding economic results."
After a low-key campaign, opinion polls put the conservative in the lead as he claims credit for the island's economic recovery since its debilitating financial crisis of 2013.
‘US does not provide any support to PKK, a US-designated foreign terrorist organization,’ says Pentagon spokesman
Turkish Cypriots stand with motherland Turkey and Turkish soldiers at heart, PM Ozgurgun tweets.
The campaign named 'Dignity is Priceless' aims to attract new donors for Palestinian refugees
Last week, Israeli authorities refused a request to release Attallah from prison
The move came as Israel extended detention of 16-year-old girl Ahed al-Tamimi
‘We do not have people operating in Afrin, so that does not have a direct effect on what we are doing’, spokesman says
Arguments in case expected in April, final ruling expected by June
Sergey Lavrov, Ayman Safadi meet in New York, according to Russian Foreign Ministry statement
Police confirm detention of Turks without providing reason for move
Congress fails to reach agreement on short-term stopgap funding
Xi's eponymous "thought" was already enshrined in the Communist Party constitution at the 19th Party Congress in October, elevating him to the same status as modern China's founder Mao Zedong.
Separate roadside bombings in both provinces left three civilians dead, say security sources
Mexico rejects claim, calling it 'manifestly false'
Supporters not deterred by president’s antics, performance