Koenders had pointed out that "there is obviously no connection between the Hungarian government and terrorism", the ministry’s press office head, Tamas Menczer, told state news agency MTI. Talking to the press earlier, Koenders said he did not think Scheltema had "meant the remark that way".

The Dutch minister, however, called Szijjarto's decision to withdraw the Hungarian ambassador from the Netherlands "exaggerated". Koenders said it is pending further information whether he would apologise for the ambassador's conduct. It is, however, unnecessary for tensions to be exacerbated in the two countries' diplomatic relations, he added.

The Hungarian foreign ministry had recalled Hungary's ambassador to the Netherlands for consultations in Budapest, Szijjarto announced before Koenders’ explanation. He said there would be no ambassadorial-level communication between the two countries for an indefinite period. "This is a most radical move in diplomacy," Szijjarto said.

He had also instructed the charge d'affaires of the Hungarian embassy to "firmly reject (recent) accusations against Hungary", and demand an explanation from the Dutch foreign ministry for the remarks by Scheltema in a controversial interview he gave to Ágnes Lampé of Hungarian weekly 168 Óra. "An explanation given behind closed doors will not be enough," the minister added.

In his remarks, Scheltema, said Islamic extremism "applies the same principles to create an enemy as the Hungarian government". Szijjarto said this neglected and overstepped the conventions of diplomacy, and hurt Hungary's dignity and sovereignty. This is a very rare occurrence and diplomatic steps had to be made because of its seriousness, he added.

"The Dutch ambassador to Budapest has dishonoured Hungary in an interview and it is therefore necessary to get a public statement by the Dutch government in this matter," he said.

Many baseless accusations and derogatory remarks were made in the interview which need to be rejected, Szijjarto said. The most serious had been that the ambassador practically drew parallels between Hungary and terrorists. "Hungary's position is clear: we want to defend the country, the Hungarian people, Europe and its inhabitants, and will not let in illegal migrants," Szijjarto said.

He criticised Scheltema's remark according to which a vehicle-ramming terrorist attack could happen anywhere. "It is difficult to make a more disrespectful and insensitive remark than that. We will never accept Europe to become a continent where vehicle-ramming attacks killing people can happen anywhere."

Scheltema also said that in Hungary, politics were black and white, whereas in the Netherlands the governing coalition always looked for compromise. He said that for foreigners the Hungarian government’s extraordinarily intensive and aggressive attack on the Open Society Foundation’s George Soros was, to put it mildly, strange.

He agreed that Hungary had welcomed more immigrants with residency bonds than it would have to according to the EU refugee settlement quota. Scheltema said the "Let’s Stop Brussels!” signs were cheap propaganda, and most Hungarians know it.

As for EU funding to stop Hungary lagging behind Western Europe: "We can’t finance corruption, and we can’t keep a corrupt regime alive.”

Before Koenders’ response, Szijjarto said the incoming Dutch ambassador would not be received in any ministry or state office unless the Dutch government issued an official explanation. If it were revealed that Scheltema’s remarks reflected more than his private opinion, and if the Dutch failed to publish a proper statement of apology, then the summoning of the Hungarian ambassador back to Hungary would be a long-term measure and further diplomatic or political steps would be taken.

Szijjarto said Hungary, a state of over 1000 years standing, "is not a boxing sack", something some foreign state leaders could "vent their rage on".

He noted that in 2015, the then-Austrian chancellor "branded Hungary as Nazi" and built swing gates on the border. The Croatian prime minister had "slandered" Hungary but shortly afterwards their supply system had crashed under the pressure of immigrants, and "they got rather far" from Schengen membership. In another development, the Romanian foreign minister had called Hungary "autistic". "None of them are in office anymore."

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