Pompeo warns allies Huawei presence complicates partnership with US

The measures are meant to encourage women to have more children and to reverse Hungary's population decline

Washington is concerned in particular about the expansion of Huawei, the world's biggest maker of telecoms equipment, in Hungary and Poland.

"If that [Huawei] equipment is co-located where we have important American systems, it makes it more hard for us to partner alongside them", US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told journalists gathered at the US Embassy in Budapest.

US State Secretary Mike Pompeo's quest to scare Hungary away from dealing with Russian Federation and China appears to have turned sour, as Budapest said it's fed up with lectures about its foreign policy.

Mijatovic said that "the space for the work of NGOs, human rights defenders and journalists critical of the government has become very narrow and restricted", and called on Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government to "reverse its worrying course" on human rights. It says its technologies serve 70 per cent of Hungarians and that it co-operates with most telecoms providers in Hungary, including state-owned enterprises.

"We have seen this all around the world, it also makes it more hard for America to be present", Pompeo was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Pompeo is on a five-day massive charm offensive in Eastern Europe seeking to "make up" for the time the USA "shunned" the nations of the region "in a way that drove them to fill a vacuum with folks who didn't share our values", as he himself put it.

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"We must not let Putin drive wedges between friends in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation", he said, adding that he had also warned of "the dangers of allowing China to gain a bridgehead in Hungary".

The trip looks like a massive lobbying campaign aimed at advancing the interests of Washington as well as those of the all-powerful USA military industrial complex.

Pompeo will take the same message to his next stop, Slovakia, on Tuesday, before heading to Poland, where he will participate in a conference on the future of the Middle East expected to focus on Iran. Pompeo stopped in Hungary's capital Monday, where he visited the USA embassy as well as a statue of the late President Ronald Reagan in Budapest.

Pompeo said he had raised the concerns with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto and would also do so with nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has been criticized for seeking closer ties with Russian Federation and China and for increasingly authoritarian rule at home.

One official said Pompeo's aim is to "wrong-foot the West's rivals in places where they have gained bridgeheads".

"So numerous concerns that are voiced are things that have happened in the absence of America being engaged", he told reporters.

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