Pompeo in Hungary hoping to woo Orban away from Moscow
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Hungary on Monday, on the first leg of a European tour, hoping that economic and defense incentives will dissuade Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban from getting too close to Russia.
Pompeo is set to meet Orban on his one-day trip to Budapest. On Tuesday he will be in Bratislava, Slovakia, for the first such high-level visit in 20 years.
The focus of Pompeo's trip to Europe is a U.S.-driven conference on the Middle East in Poland later this week, which has been toned down after European allies were uneasy about promoting U.S. President Donald Trump's hawkish line on Iran.
U.S. officials said that Pompeo will discuss ways to increase defense and economic cooperation with Hungary.
While Hungary is treaty-bound to the U.S. through NATO, U.S. officials are pushing for progress on a bilateral defense cooperation agreement, which would let U.S. forces move freely in the country.
Such an agreement could prove controversial if Hungary is the stage for a U.S. military operation.