Retvari: Security of Hungarians beyond borders must not be jeopardised

The United States' request from Hungary to disclose the personal data of 900,000 ethnic Hungarians living beyond the borders is "unrealistic" because a disclosure of such data would jeopardise their security, Bence Retvari, the Hungarian interior ministry's state secretary, told public broadcaster Kossuth radio on Sunday.

The two countries have been making every effort over the past several years to find a solution to standing issues, Retvari said, noting that not long ago, on June 10, Hungary had sent a diplomatic note containing proposals. After this, a decision was announced by the United States to tighten visa rules for Hungarians, he said.

“It is an unprecedented and unrealistic request from a country to disclose the personal data of several hundreds of thousands of its citizens because every country safeguards such data with legal guarantees, so does Hungary,” Retvari said.

He said that law enforcement cooperation with the United States had been successful over the past years with the two sides’ continuing coordination on cases implicated. Retvari said Hungary would certainly respond to every case signalled by the US within the shortest possible time. He said proceedings in alleged unlawful cases had been launched and if a breach of law was established, the Hungarian citizenship has been revoked.

Hungary will maintain dialogue and cooperate with its ally, the United States, in each case indicated, he said.

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