Orban: EU should be closer to Israel, U.S. stance on Iran

Hungarian PM says European Union 'not clear on Iranian issue'; says his country will keep troops in Iraq as long as Baghdad abides by agreement between the two governments
News Agencies|
BUDAPEST - Hungary wants the European stance on the U.S.-Iran conflict to be closer that held by the Unites States, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Thursday.
The European Union's foreign ministers meet on Friday in Brussels to discuss the Iran crisis, with a focus on easing tensions between Washington and Tehran.
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בנימין נתניהו עם ראש ממשלת הונגריה ויקטור אורבן ב ירושלים
בנימין נתניהו עם ראש ממשלת הונגריה ויקטור אורבן ב ירושלים
Benjamin Netanyahu and Viktor Orban in Jerusalem
(Photo: Reuters)
"I would like for the European stance, which is not clear on this Iranian issue, to be oriented towards the Israeli-United States stance," Orban told a news conference.
Orban has warm relations with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"You stand up for Israel and you stand up for the truth and I want to thank you for it," Netanyahu said during a visit to Jerusalem by Orban last year.
"It is a very important alliance," Netanyahu said of the relationship between Hungary and Israel.
European Council President Charles Michel said on Thursday he had spoken to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and urged Tehran to comply with a 2015 arms control agreement with world powers to curb its nuclear ambitions. Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons.
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חסן רוחאני
חסן רוחאני
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at one of the country's nuclear plants
(Photo: AP)
Meanwhile U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday urged world powers to quit the accord that Washington abandoned in 2018 and work for a new deal. Iran has rejected new talks.
Orban, who has frequently chafed at EU policy, met Trump last year, when Trump lauded him for being tough on immigration, a policy area in which the two leaders have similar visions.
The prime minister also said Thursday that his country will keep its troops stationed in Iraq as long as Baghdad abides by the agreement between the two governments.
Orban told reporters that plans were in place should the Hungarian troops need to be evacuated, which would take place “immediately” if Iraq pulls out of the agreement.
Hungary has been member of NATO since 1999 and currently has about 150 troops in Iraq’s Kurdish region.
Hungarian troops are deployed in several international missions around the world, carrying out mostly tasks like peacekeeping and partnership building.
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