Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Budapest, Hungary, to speak with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, government ministers and civil society leaders on his way to Warsaw, Poland, to participate later this week in the Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East.
Pompeo said he was especially pleased to be in Hungary to mark the 30th anniversary of the end of communism in the country.
“For three decades, the Hungarian people have worked to build a free and prosperous nation in the heart of Central Europe. The United States has been with you from the outset,” he said during a press conference at the U.S. Embassy.
He discussed the United States’ growing security concerns over Russian and Chinese influence on domestic politics and trade decisions in the region.
“Hungarians know all too well from their history that an authoritarian Russia will never be a friend to the freedom and sovereignty of smaller nations,” Pompeo said.
While in Liberty Square, Pompeo stopped at the statue of Ronald Reagan, the 40th U.S. president. Unveiled in 2011, the statue pays homage to Reagan’s role in bringing an end to Soviet occupation, which ushered a new era of independence into the country.
Pompeo’s next stop on his trip was Bratislava, Slovakia, on February 12.