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Hungary's Orban Wants EU Stance On Iran More Closely Aligned With U.S., Israel


Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks during his traditional new year press conference in Budapest on January 9.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said that the European Union's position on the U.S.-Iran dispute should be more closely aligned with the United States and Israel.

"I would like for the European stance, which is not clear on this Iranian issue, to be oriented toward the Israeli-United States stance," Orban told a news conference on January 9 in Budapest.

U.S. President Donald Trump on January 8 urged world powers to quit a 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran that Washington abandoned in 2018 and work for a new deal. Iran, which denies having nuclear ambitions, has rejected new talks.

European Council President Charles Michel said on January 9 that he had spoken to Iranian President Hassan Rohani and urged Tehran to comply with the 2015 agreement.

EU foreign ministers are due to meet on January 10 in Brussels to discuss the tensions between the United States and Iran.

Orban, who has frequently scoffed at EU policy, met Trump last year, when the U.S. president praised his tough stance on immigration, a policy area in which the two leaders have similar visions. Orban also has warm relations with Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

Orban also said Budapest will keep its troops stationed in Iraq as long as the government in Baghdad stands by the agreement between the two countries.

However, Orban added 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.

EU and NATO member Hungary has some 150 military personnel in Iraq's Kurdish region.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP
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