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May 01, 2020

FM calls on Romanian president to “show more respect to Hungarians” following Szeklerland comments

The foreign minister calls on Romanian president Klaus Iohannis to “show more respect to Hungarians” after he accused the Social Democratic Party (PSD) of “wanting to relinquish Transylvania to Hungary”.

Peter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has called on Romanian president Klaus Iohannis to “show more respect to Hungarians” after he accused the Social Democratic Party (PSD) of “wanting to relinquish Transylvania to Hungary”.

In a television interview, Iohannis, commenting on a recent tacit approval by Romania’s chamber of deputies of a draft law on granting territorial autonomy to Szeklerland, said the Social Democrats, who hold a relative majority of seats, “are fighting to hand over Transylvania to the Hungarians”. Iohannis then raised the question of what Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán “could have offered in exchange for an agreement”.

According to MTI, Minister Szijjártó said Iohannis’s comments were “particularly uncivilized and could incite hatred”. “Klaus Iohannis should be aware that the vast majority of Hungarians living in Transylvania and Szeklerland voted for him in the Romanian presidential election,” the foreign minister said.

The minister said Hungary’s interests lie in nurturing good relations with Romania and argued that the two countries were important economic partners. Transylvania and Szeklerland Hungarians also have a vested interest in good relations between the two countries, he said. However, recent comments from certain Romanian politicians “make it hard to maintain good neighborly relations”.