Foreign Affairs Minister Titus Corlatean stated yesterday at the end of a meeting he had with his Hungarian counterpart Janos Martony in Budapest that Romania’s stance towards ethnic minorities remains unchanged: these communities form an important bridge between the two countries and, consequently, solving their problems calls for a balanced approach, Mediafax informs, quoting MTI. “The minorities should be given the chance to conserve their identity,” the Romanian FM pointed out. He asked Hungary to take into account the Romanian side’s sensibilities when dealing with situations in which opinions differ. Corlatean also pointed out that general elections are scheduled in Romania this autumn and underlined that internal affairs and ethnic minorities’ issues should be discussed separately in the following period.The Romanian FM reiterated that ten years ago the two countries signed a statement on strategic partnership, underlining that this bilateral cooperation should be consolidated “in all regards.” “The visit is part of the specific bilateral dialogue between Romania and Hungary and is taking place against the backdrop in which this year marks 10 years since the signing of the Strategic Partnership declaration (November 29, 2002 – editor’s note) and 16 years since the signing and implementation of the treaty of understanding, cooperation and good neighborliness,” a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) communiqué posted on the institution’s website informs. On the other hand, the Romanian minister invited Hungary to use the Romanian embassy in Baghdad, given the fact that Hungary withdrew its diplomats from Baghdad in 2005 and is using its embassy in Amman, Jordan. In his turn, Janos Martonyi stated that Hungary and Romania want to continue to consolidate their bilateral cooperation. The Hungarian minister admitted that bilateral relations have “entered a sensitive stage” in recent months. “Some of us believe that this could be detrimental to the achievements registered in recent years,” Martonyi stated, underlining however that common interests should remain the decisive factor.
Hungary plans to open new border crossing points
On the other hand, Bertalan Havasi, Premier Viktor Orban’s spokesperson, announced that the Hungarian government is planning to open new border crossing points on the border with Romania in order to stimulate cooperation between both countries’ regions. Havasi pointed out that this problem was discussed during the meeting that Viktor Orban, Janos Martonyi and Titus Corlatean had. Peter Szijjarto, the Hungarian Prime Minister’s chief of cabinet, and the Romanian ambassador to Budapest also attended that meeting. The two sides expressed their commitment to manage through cooperation European issues such as the EU budget, the cohesion funds and the Common Agricultural Policy. “Hungary and Romania have the common interest of making rapid progress in the project of building the oil pipeline that will transit Azerbaijan, Georgia, Hungary and Romania, as well as in the AGRI and Nabucco-West projects,” Havasi pointed out. Titus Corlatean was scheduled to meet Speaker of the Hungarian Parliament Lazslo Kover yesterday, as well as representatives of the Romanian community in Hungary.