A tale of two press statements: Did Joe Biden congratulate Viktor Orban on his election victory or didn’t he?
On Saturday, 26 April 2014 the Hungarian National News Service (MTI) announced that US Vice President Joe Biden called prime minister Viktor Orban on Saturday to congratulate him on his party’s election victory and to discuss matters regarding the Ukraine.
The MTI announcement was made after new portal 444.hu observed that the United States had still not congratulated the prime minister on his electoral victory of 6 April.
On Sunday news portal index.hu, noted that the MTI statement appeared to be at odds with the official “Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary” issued by the office of the Vice President Saturday evening. The White House statement makes no mention of Biden congratulating Orban on Fidesz’s electoral victory:
The Vice President spoke this morning with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. The Vice President congratulated Hungary on its 15-year anniversary in NATO and noted the United States’ steadfast commitment to the Alliance’s collective defense under Article 5. The two leaders discussed the situation in Ukraine and agreed that Russia would face further costs for supporting the actions of armed separatists in Ukraine, in direct contravention of the April 17 Geneva Joint Statement. The Vice President and Prime Minister discussed the need to strengthen the energy security of the Euro-Atlantic community with a more coordinated and strategic approach. The Vice President also reiterated the view that the United States and its partners should be prepared to impose sanctions on individuals and entities operating in certain sectors of the Russian economy if Moscow further intervenes militarily in Ukraine.
In apparent response to the index.hu article, MTI published a second article featuring a translation of the White House statement. The translation is interrupted two-thirds of the way down to mention that Biden congratulated Viktor Orban on his election victory.
The prime minister’s website presently contains a link to the following MTI announcement:
Viktor Orban discussed matters by telephone with the American vice president
Prime Minister Vikor Orban and Joe Biden, the vice president of the United States, discussed matters by telephone Saturday afternoon, according to Beratal Havasi, the director of the Prime Minister’s Press Office.
He said that the American Vice President congratulated the Hungarian head of government on his party’s election victory.
In addition, Viktor Orban and Joe Biden discussed the Ukrainian situation, added Bertalan Havasi.
Referenced in this article:
Orban Viktor az amerikai alelnokkel targyalt telefonon, mti.hu, 26 April, 2014
Így hazudik Amerika, ha Orbánról van szó!!,444.hu, 27 April 2014.
Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary, 26 April 2014.
Találja meg a külonbséget a Fehér Ház és Havasi Bertalan közleménye között, aganarról a telefonbeszékgetésről!, index.hu, 28 April 2014.