Viktor Orban
Viktor Orban Reuters

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Saturday became the first European leader to endorse Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, calling him a "better option" for the bloc than his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

"I am not a Donald Trump campaigner. I never thought it would occur to me that of the available options, he would be the better one for Europe and for Hungary", Orban said in an annual speech at a summer school in Baile Tusnad in Romania, according to the AFP news agency.

He added that he was swayed by security proposals Trump had made in his acceptance speech as the Republican Party's presidential nominee on Thursday night.

Trump had vowed to increase intelligence efforts, suspend immigration from nations "compromised by terrorism", and stop a "failed policy of nation-building and regime change" in places like Syria and Iraq.

Orban is also a fervent opponent of immigration -- particularly from Muslim nations -- and has blamed recent terror attacks in Europe on the bloc's refugee crisis, which erupted last summer.

"(Trump) has made some proposals about stopping terrorism, that I as a European couldn't have said better regarding what would be best for Europe", Orban said, according to AFP, and stressed Europe had to create a network of national intelligence agencies that matched "the world's best".

He also supported Trump's push to "abandon the policy of exporting democracy", saying the West's toppling of authoritarian "but stable" regimes in Libya, Syria and Iraq had sparked chaos and unleashed the influx of migrants from the Middle East and Africa.

"If we prioritize democracy-building rather than stability in those regions where stability is more important, then we are kindling insecurity," he was quoted as having said.

Trump has come under fire from international leaders in the past following his call to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States due to security reasons.

Perhaps the most vocal critic was former British Prime Minister David Cameron, who said Trump's proposal was “divisive, stupid and wrong”.

Join our official WhatsApp group