The Slovak and the Romanian Foreign Ministry both summoned the Hungarian ambassador over Orbán's speech in Transylvania

July 24. 2023. – 05:49 PM

The Slovak and the Romanian Foreign Ministry both summoned the Hungarian ambassador over Orbán's speech in Transylvania
Viktor Orbán speaks in Băile Tușnad / Tusnádfürdő – Photo by Lujza Hevesi-Szabó


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The Slovakian Foreign Ministry summoned the Hungarian ambassador after Viktor Orbán spoke about Slovakia as "a part of the country torn away from Hungary" in Băile Tușnad /Tusnádfürdő in Transylvania on Saturday. according to Napunk, a Hungarian-language portal in Slovakia.

"Czechoslovakia (and later Slovakia) or Hungary are both successor states to Austria-Hungary. They could therefore not have torn anything away from present-day Hungary," the Slovak Foreign Ministry said in a statement sent to the portal.

"Any direct or indirect challenge to the territorial integrity or sovereignty of Slovakia is absolutely unacceptable to us. We, therefore, reiterate that it is in our interest to maintain normal and calm relations with Hungary, but with mutual sensitivities in mind and respect.

The recent statements of the Hungarian Prime Minister are not going in this direction.

The Foreign Ministry has therefore summoned Hungary's Ambassador to Slovakia in response to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's statements on work going on in the regions torn away from Hungary and requested an explanation of the Hungarian Prime Minister's words," the Foreign Ministry concluded its statement.

"We are interested in cooperation between the two countries based on mutual respect, as this can only benefit both countries and both nations. For our part, we will continue to strive for this, and we will always speak frankly and in the language of respect about our plans, our goals and our assessment of the current situation," Péter Szijjártó wrote on Facebook on Monday afternoon, reacting to the news that the Hungarian ambassador in Bucharest had been summoned to the Romanian Foreign Ministry on Monday morning.

According to Szijjártó, "the tone and atmosphere of the meeting can be described as calm and polite. The statements made by the Romanian Deputy State Secretary practically repeated the points made in the previous démarche, this time updated for after the speech."

Earlier, we reported that at a press conference this morning, responding to a question from ATV, Szijjártó said that Romania's ambassador to Hungary visited the Hungarian Foreign Ministry on 13 July, where he verbally "presented a démarche" to the deputy state secretary for territorial relations. According to Szijjártó, the Romanian ambassador read out an "instruction from his own foreign ministry in Bucharest, detailing what they expected the Hungarian prime minister not to talk about and how" in Băile Tușnad / Tusnadfürdő. A transcript of this was also produced.

"These expectations were precisely quoted by the Prime Minister at the beginning of his speech", Szijjártó said.

As we reported earlier, Orbán did not ignore the Romanian Foreign Ministry's instructions. "They say not to talk about non-existent administrative territorial units in Romania. I wondered what they could mean. I think they mean Transylvania and Szeklerland. But we have never claimed that these were Romanian territorial units," he said, for example. But he also said: 'they write that there are things we can talk about, but let's not make it look bad. Such as Western values. If you're involved in European politics, as I am, Western values today are three things: migration, LGBTQ and war. My dear Romanian friends, there is no need to portray these in a bad light, they are portrayed in a bad light by themselves."

A spokesperson for the National Liberal Party (PNL) of Romania said that "Mr Orbán is behaving like an agitator, not as the head of government", while a Social Democrat MEP said that Orbán's illiberal policies are doomed to fail, and are increasingly isolating the country from Western values. But even the Romanian far-right, which is otherwise sympathetic to Orbán, criticised the Hungarian Prime Minister.

The Czech Republic is a sovereign state and its government is defending its own national interests, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said on Sunday in response to Viktor Orbán's speech on Saturday.

Orbán said that the European federalists have launched an attack on the Visegrád Four, "and we can all see the result: the Czechs have changed sides, Slovakia is wobbling, only the Poles and the Hungarians are holding out".

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