Katalin Novak - Photo: Facebook

President Novak: World listening more to ‘women crying out for peace’

The world is more and more aware of the voice of "women crying for peace", Hungarian President Katalin Novak said in an interview to a regional newspaper.

“We feel what it means when our sons and husbands are sent to war. I’m working for generations not to have to experience the horrors of war,” the president said in the interview published in the Saturday issue of Kelet-Magyarorszag.

She said both sides in the war in Ukraine and those who support them harboured false hopes, and their goals could not be achieved.

Since the start of the war, 1.5 million refugees have entered Hungary, she noted, adding that the people of Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg, where she was paying a visit, were on the front line of Hungarians helping incomers.

The president said Hungary was showing “its best face”.

Referring to the community of 150,000 Hungarians living in Transcarpathia, she said many of them were “mourning their sons, husbands and fathers”. “Families have been torn apart,” she said.

Novak said that many heads of state were unaware that a Hungarian national community lives in Ukraine, adding that its members were law-abiding Ukrainian citizens who worked and contributed to the Ukrainian economy, with many of them fighting in the war, too. Meanwhile, they are “clinging” on to their mother tongue, traditions, culture and identity, she said.

“We are helping to care for them,” she said.

Regarding her recent visit to Kyiv, she said one of the aims of her visit had been to strengthen the Transcarpathian Hungarian community. By accepting the Ukrainian president’s invitation, she could assure him in person that “they can count on us”. Hungary, she said, had supported Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty from the very beginning and condemned Russian aggression, while also “going above and beyond to help refugees”.

Independently of the circumstances of the war, Hungary demands that the rights of the Hungarian minority are respected, Novak said, adding that “this area, unfortunately, isn’t going well right now”.

Meanwhile, on the topic of family benefits, the president said that protecting and helping families meant so much more than providing family benefits. She said the “determinant environment” was the family, and family was the source of “the most help and strength, wherever life takes us. That’s why I encourage young people to take on the responsibility of family when they’re ready.”

Hungarian family-friendly policies have brought “results not seen elsewhere in the Western world in the past decade,” she said, noting that the number of marriages has doubled, the desire to have children has grown, and the number of divorces and abortions has fallen.

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