Hungary to host global right-wing populists in support of PM Orban

  • World
  • Wednesday, 26 Jan 2022

FILE PHOTO: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks as he arrives for an EU summit in Brussels, Belgium December 10, 2020. John Thys/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo/File Photo

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary will in March host right-wing participants from the United States and Europe including the leader of Spain's Vox party at a conference linked to U.S. conservatives, a leading pro-government think-tank said on Wednesday.

The gathering of American conservatives along with leaders and activists from Europe and Latin America will feature Prime Minister Viktor Orban as a keynote speaker, said Miklos Szantho, director of the Centre for Fundamental Rights think-tank.

Orban is campaigning for re-election on April 3 in a race polls show could be closely fought.

Spain's Santiago Abascal and Eduardo Bolsonaro, son of Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, accepted the invitation, and several U.S. senators and representatives will also attend, Szantho told state news agency MTI.

He did not name the U.S. participants. The offices of Abascal, Orban and Bolsonaro did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Szantho said the event will be organized under the umbrella of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), a U.S. meeting organized by the American Conservative Union since the 1970s. CPAC has more recently branded international editions including in Sydney and Tokyo.

CPAC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The conference, to be held from March 25-26, appeared aimed at shoring up nationalist Orban's standing in Europe ahead of the election, where he will face a united opposition for the first time in 12 years.

The event could also help the American right strengthen ties to Europe. Former U.S. President Donald Trump endorsed Orban as a candidate on Jan. 3, praising him for stemming illegal immigration.

Szantho said CPAC in Hungary would serve as a "connection point" for conservatives in the West and demonstrate that they could cooperate internationally.

(Reporting by Krisztina Than; Additional reporting by Anita Komuves; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel)

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