March 9, 2017 / 1:34 PM / 5 months ago

Hungary to support Tusk for European Council presidency

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban arrives at the EU summit in Brussels, Belgium, March 9, 2017.Francois Lenoir

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary will support the candidate of the European People's Party (EPP), Donald Tusk, for president of the European Council, the Hungarian prime minister said on Thursday.

"Donald Tusk will be it (the president)," Prime Minister Viktor Orban told the state television m1 in Brussels.

His chief of staff Janos Lazar told a concurrent news conference that Orban had tried to forge a compromise between Poland and members of the European Council, but this effort has failed.

"We honour our obligations stemming from our membership in the EPP even though we understand Poland and their problem regarding the candidacy," Lazar said.

Diplomats confidently predict a second term for Tusk, a former premier of Poland who was appointed Council chairman in 2014 before his own centrist Civic Platform party was ousted by the eurosceptic Law and Justice party.

Reporting by Marton Dunai and Krisztina Than; Editing by Alison Williams

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