Following the outrage surrounding Slovakia banning the singing of the Hungarian anthem in the country, the foreign minister wasted no time in pinning down his Slovak counterpart on the matter in Washington this week.
After meeting Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak on the sidelines of the celebration of NATO’s 70th anniversary, Péter Szijjártó pointed out that Hungarian-Slovak relations should be based on mutual respect.
Minister Szijjártó told MTI that the ethnic Hungarian community in Slovakia will be an asset in that process.
The ministers met after it came to light that Slovakia had accepted a law amendment in March banning the singing of a foreign country’s anthem on its soil, unless an official delegation of that country was present.
Minister Szijjártó said he had discussed the issue with József Menyhárt, head of Slovakia’s Party of the Hungarian Community and Tibor Bastrnak, the group leader of Most-Hid, a junior ruling party. “We shall stay informed, watch upcoming events carefully and examine the legal ramifications; to our knowledge, a satisfying solution may be close by,” he said.
The amendment, due to come into effect on May 15th, is said to be designed to ban the Hungarian anthem from sports events. Breaching the regulation is punishable with a fine of up to 7,000 euros.