Slovak Foreign Ministry summons Hungarian Ambassador over Szijjártó's statements

September 28. 2023. – 08:32 AM



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The Slovak Foreign Ministry summoned Csaba Balogh, Hungary's ambassador to Slovakia after Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó had travelled to Slovakia on 26 and 27 September to attend an event organised by the Slovak opposition party the Alliance during the election campaign.

“The ambassador was asked to convey to the Hungarian minister Slovakia's reservations about his interference in the country's election campaign, as well as his support for specific political subjects.”

- the Slovak news agency TASR reports, quoting the Foreign Ministry's communications department. The Slovak Foreign Ministry added that they consider such actions to be beyond the norms of diplomatic communication.

Eduard Heger, the leader of the Slovak party The Democrats earlier said that Hungary was interfering in the country's election campaign by Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó travelling to Slovakia on Tuesday and Wednesday to attend the campaign event of The Alliance (Aliancia-Szövetség). Speaking at the event, Szijjártó said:

"I received a text message from my Slovak colleague yesterday afternoon, asking me to "behave myself", and it is in this spirit that I would now like to make my statement".

According to the report of Paramé among others, Szijjártó then continued by saying that "on the recommendation of the presidency of the Alliance" the Hungarian government would continue to support the Hungarian minority in Slovakia. He also said it was important for Hungarians in Slovakia to be represented in parliament because "without it, it is difficult to achieve results".

The Democrats' vice-president Jaroslav Naď had previously criticised Szijjártó for travelling to Slovakia without first consulting the Slovak Foreign Ministry. Nad' had called Szijjártó's visit just days before the Slovak parliamentary elections unacceptable. He also referred to Szijjártó's recent remarks on the work of the Slovak law enforcement agencies and brought up the Hungarian Foreign Minister's recent joint press conference with the leader of the opposition party Smer, Robert Fico.

He said that the only way to maintain good neighbourly relations was for Hungarian government representatives not to take steps towards interfering in Slovakia's internal affairs.

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