Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: Election show Hungary, Hungarians beyond border can count on each other

Hungary's general election proved that "the motherland can count on the members of Hungarian communities beyond the border" and vice-versa, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvar), in north-western Romania, on Thursday.

Hungary’s ruling alliance of Fidesz and the Christian democrats received a record number of votes in the April 3 election, giving them a record number of seats in parliament, Szijjarto told a press conference held jointly with Hunor Kelemen, head of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ).

Szijjarto said the election had decided not just the fate of Hungary but that of the entire nation, adding it had therefore been important to the government that all Hungarians take part in it. He said that whereas this stance was natural for the “nationally minded Christian civic side”, the left represented the complete opposite view, and had always wanted to exclude Hungarians living beyond the borders from the nation’s shared decisions.

The minister welcomed that a record 318,083 mail-in votes had been cast in the election, 205,767 of which had been cast at the foreign mission accredited to Cluj-Napoca and Miercurea Ciuc (Csikszereda). Fidesz and the Christian Democrats received more than 251,000 of the mail-in votes, he added.

“The election showed us again that the motherland counts on the ethnic Hungarian communities living beyond the border and that they, too, can count on the motherland,” Szijjarto said. He thanked ethnic Hungarians “for not having fallen for foul provocation attempts” such as the case of the mail-in ballots that were found dumped and partially burned in an illegal landfill near Sfantu Gheorghe (Marosvasarhely).

As regards bilateral ties, Szijjarto said Hungary had an interest in building the strongest possible cooperation with Romania, adding that hopefully relations between the two countries would “keep going in the direction they’re headed in, which can benefit both countries”.

In response to a question, Szijjarto said the Hungarian government’s cross-border economic development schemes were successful, adding that Budapest and Bucharest were engaged in related talks, and the government was likely to be able to open a new round of applications.

Concerning the European Union’s decision to approve an additional 500 million euros for military equipment for the Ukrainian army, Szijjarto said that although Hungary was not sending weapons to its north-eastern neighbour or allowing the transit of weapons deliveries through its territory into Ukraine, it was not blocking other EU member states from supporting Ukraine and respected their decision.

“We expect the others to show the same respect to us and not comment on, label or criticise our decisions,” he said.

Szijjarto said the Hungarian people had made it clear in the election that they wanted Hungary to stay out of the war, adding that the government was committed to carrying out the will of the people.

On the topic of energy cooperation, Szijjarto said Hungary had an interest in diversifying its natural gas resources and was prepared to begin talks on importing gas from Romania once extraction was under way in the country.

Kelemen said the Transylvanian Hungarians who had backed Fidesz in the election had expressed their approval of the policy for Hungarians abroad the government had pursued over the last 12 years.

The goals of the coming period will be to boost relations with the Hungarian ruling parties and to continue deepening the relationship between Hungary and Romania, he said.

Leave a Reply