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US Renews Call for Hungary to Engage With Besieged School

  • Associated Press

Supporters of Hungary's political opposition display a banner during an anti-government protest in Budapest, Hungary, May 21, 2017. At least 5,000 protesters marched in downtown Budapest, calling on the government to repeal legal amendments which could force Central European University out of the country.

The U.S. State Department is repeating its call for Hungary to “engage directly” with a university founded by billionaire George Soros which may have to leave Budapest because of recent amendments to the law on higher education.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Tuesday that the U.S. government wants Hungary to suspend the implementation of the new “discriminatory, onerous requirements,” which she says threaten academic freedom and independence.

Nauert said in a statement that the U.S. government “has no authority or intention” to negotiate about Central European University, as sought by Hungarian officials.

Zoltan Balog, who oversees education as Hungary's minister of human resources, told news site on Monday that he expected to receive a letter on the matter from U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.