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April 11, 2021

Kelemen Hunor: Budapest reactions are fair and show responsibility towards Hungarians in Romania

The president of the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR), Kelemen Hunor declared on Wednesday, in a press conference, that the recent reactions of officials in Budapest are fair and show responsibility towards the Hungarian community in Romania.

He was asked by journalists to comment on statements made in Budapest and Bucharest and whether, given the context, the visit of Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Thursday in Satu Mare is advisable.

“Tensions started off when there were a lot of administrative decisions, and not only in Romania, that hurt the Hungarian community and attacked the rights it had obtained, and you know the cases all too well. From this point of view, the reaction of Budapest officials was a fair one, of responsibility towards Hungarians in Romania, just as Romanian officials should react when Romanians in Timoc Valley are intimidated, or attacked or their rights are disrespected. Or in Ukraine or in other states. I consider these reactions are normal and these facts triggered, very often, reactions through diplomatic channels but also more direct reactions. Still, I believe and I still hope in the improvement of the relations between the two states and I hope we will have common concerns for the future in this region and in the EU,” Kelemen Hunor said.

He was also asked to comment on Hungarian Foreign Affairs Minister, Peter Szijjarto’s position, to interdict his country’s diplomats to participate in Romania National Day.

“I don’t want to comment on what others say, especially officials from Hungary or other states. This is how I see it: the past and the events from the past have placed us on different barricades. No Hungarian sees differently the events of 1918. (..) We must speak up: what is joy for some, for others it means loss. From this point of view, I believe that in order to move forward – and I am more interested in the future than the past – we have to speak our minds honestly and fairly and this is what I am talking about, what we have talked about and will continue talking about. These aspects from the past do not prevent us from projecting a future together and that is why we suggested that all promises made to ethnic minorities in 1918 be respected. This is the starting point, wholeheartedly, with a clear conscience, honestly and this is how we should talk about the things that separated us or still separate us and the things that unite us. We have in common the present and the future,” the president of UDMR mentioned.

According to him, Romania and Hungary should join forces.

“From this point of view, I believe that Romania and Hungary should form a common front in the coming years, together with the other states in the Visegrad Group and the other former communist states in the region (…) in order to propose some modifications, some constructive reforms in Brussels, because there will be a reform in the European Union. I think for each of us it is extremely important to be equal citizens with those who founded the EU and who live in the happier area of Europe. Because, in the end, I mind that we haven’t been received into Schengen and I mind it terribly. This is far more important than many other aspects. (…) I believe Hungarian officials as well as the future officials of Romania will think of the future and the past will be fairly discussed, as each sees and feels, without the intention to hurt someone,” Kelemen Hunor further added.

According to Hungarian publications, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Peter Szijjarto, asked the diplomats from all foreign Hungarian missions not to take part to festivities organised by Romanian embassies on December 1. At the request of journalists in Budapest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Budapest confirmed the order.

The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs considered Szijjarto’s decision as “hard to understand, given that the respect shown to the national values and symbols of a country are an undebatable component of the set of values at the basis of the European Union itself and the trans-Atlanatic community. Romania was and is a state greatly attached to the respect of these values.”

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