Poland's Kaczynski meets with Hungary's Orban

WARSAW, Poland (AP) " The leader of Poland's conservative ruling party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, met on Tuesday with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a meeting of two right-wing and nationalistic leaders moving their Central European nations in a similar direction.

Though Kaczynski holds no official position within the Polish government, he is widely considered to be the nation's most powerful person, guiding both the prime minister and the president.

He has expressed admiration for Orban's strong governing style " one that Orban himself calls "illiberal" " which has raised concerns abroad about the state of Hungary's democracy.

Since Kaczynski's Law and Justice party took power in November, it has also come under international scrutiny for steps which the European Union says erode the rule of law.

Conservative Polish politicians who were with Kaczynski posted photos on Twitter of the two leaders in the Hungarian parliament and on a boat going down the Danube River.

Kaczynski's party has taken a path similar to that of Orban, including greater government control over the judiciary and the media. They have also found common ground on migration, strongly opposing European Union attempts to resettle refugees among member states.

One area where they differ is on Russia. Kaczynski has long been very skeptical of Moscow, while Orban in past years has pursued closer ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin as he has sought energy deals with Russia.

The Hungarian government said in a statement that Kaczynski visited Hungary at Orban's invitation and "they discussed the political situation in Europe during an informal conversation lasting all afternoon."

After meeting in the neo-Gothic Parliament on the left bank of the Danube, Orban and Kaczynski also visited the city of Esztergom, near the border with Slovakia, which was the Hungarian capital until the middle of the 13th century.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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