“We are willing to mix with one another, but we do not want to become peoples of mixed-race,” he said, adding: “Migration has split Europe in two — or I could say that it has split the West in two.”
“One half is a world where European and non-European peoples live together. These countries are no longer nations: they are nothing more than a conglomeration of peoples.”
Orban will travel to the US next week to address a gathering of conservative activists.
Orban has become a hero to many on the American right for his push against immigration and LGBTQ rights. Orban’s Hungary has also become popular among conservative Australian politicians.
Hegedus’ resignation was a rare criticism from within Orban’s closest circle. The Hungarian prime minister and his conservative Fidesz party hold a comfortable majority and have sought to curb critical voices.
Hegedus told Orban that his comments were unacceptable even by the standards of “the most bloodthirsty racist.”
“I don’t know how you didn’t notice that you were presenting a pure Nazi text worthy of Goebbels,” she wrote, referring to Joseph Goebbels, the chief Nazi propagandist under Adolf Hitler.
“I cannot dispense with it this time, even for the sake of our nearly 20-year friendship,” she added.
Hungary’s hvg.hu news portal said Hegedus also sent a copy of her resignation letter to Hungary’s chief rabbi, Robert Frolich, who also criticised Orban’s remarks.
Orban accepted Hegedus’ resignation but dismissed her criticism in a response letter.
“You can’t be serious about accusing me of racism after 20 years of working together,” he said. “You know best that my government follows a policy of zero tolerance when it comes to antisemitism and racism in Hungary.”