Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi, left, shakes hands with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban during a signing ceremony in the Parliament building in Budapest, Hungary, Friday, June 5, 2015. (Photo: AP)
Hungary's prime minister told visitng Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi that Cairo does not have to follow the western version of democracy, despite international concerns over Egypt's human rights record.
El-Sisi's visit to Germany on Tuesday was met by protesters and Chancellor Angela Merkel was critical of the large number of death sentences handed out in Egypt since the 2013 overthrow of his Islamist predecessor Mohamed Morsi.
In contrast, Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who caused a furor recently by saying the death penalty, banned in the EU, needed to be "kept on the agenda" even if Hungary had no plans to try to reintroduce it, said Western ideals were not necessarily suited for everyone.
"Deciding this is not our job, so we are not professors of democracy," Orban said. "We are glad that the Egyptian people are travelling down their own path," adding that he hoped for their success.
El-Sisi urged Hungary to take part in Egypt's economic development and act as an advocate for his country.
"I expressed my desire ... for Hungary to take a stand for Egypt within the European Union and explain to the Europeans the results achieved by the Egyptian leadership in the past year," he said.
During their meeting, the two countries signed several cooperation agreements and Orban said Hungary would provide scholarships to 100 Egyptian students.