Foreign minister hails good relations with neighbours
Budapest (MTI) – Hungary’s relations with neighbouring countries have “never been this balanced”, Péter Szijjártó told parliament’s national cohesion committee on Tuesday.
Speaking at his annual hearing with the committee, Szijjártó added, however, that some ties were not as good as before.
Concerning Hungary’s national cohesion policy, the minister said the strategy was aimed at promoting ethnic Hungarian communities in their homelands. He said it required both economic and political measures, as well as promoting links between ethnic kin and Hungary proper.
As for physical links, Szijjártó said that Hungary had opened 20 new border crossing facilities in the past six years and is planning to open another 27 by 2020.
Referring to Romania, the minister called it unacceptable that Romanian authorities were “systematically harassing” ethnic Hungarian officials under the pretext of fighting corruption. He said that open issues should be “kept on the agenda” but added that he did not expect any progress in resolving those issues in light of Romania’s upcoming election.
Political cooperation with Slovakia has been the “best of all times”, which serves as a good basis to settle unresolved issues, Szijjártó said. He referred to recent amendments of the Slovak education law, and said that the new stipulations removed an “immediate danger” for small Hungarian-language schools to be closed down.
Szijjártó voiced a similarly high opinion about Hungary’s ties to Serbia, and said it was important to support that country’s European integration.
Hungary urges that Ukraine establishes electoral and educational districts in Transcarpathia with an ethnic Hungarian majority, the minister said, adding that the subject will be on the agenda of a meeting of the Ukrainian president in Budapest late in November.
Concerning Croatia, Szijjártó said the fact that Croatia’s new foreign minister would pay his first official trip abroad to Budapest augured that bilateral cooperation could improve.