Robert Fico and Gordon Bajnai discuss visit of Hungarian president to Slovakia

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and his Hungarian counterpart Gordon Bajnai discussed Hungarian President László Sólyom's planned private visit to Komárno on August 21, Fico's spokesperson Silvia Glendová told newswire TASR. Sólyom was due to take part in the unveiling ceremony for a statue of Hungary's most revered monarch King Stephen I, but Fico announced shortly before the visit was due to take place that Sólyom would not be allowed to enter the country.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and his Hungarian counterpart Gordon Bajnai discussed Hungarian President László Sólyom's planned private visit to Komárno on August 21, Fico's spokesperson Silvia Glendová told newswire TASR.

Sólyom was due to take part in the unveiling ceremony for a statue of Hungary's most revered monarch King Stephen I, but Fico announced shortly before the visit was due to take place that Sólyom would not be allowed to enter the country.

Fico considers Sólyom's decision to come to Slovakia on a day when Slovaks commemorate the anniversary of the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, in which Hungarian forces took part, to be an extremely bad decision and provocation.

According to an official statement by the Hungarian Government Office provided to TASR, Bajnai in the phone call reacted to an official statement by President Ivan Gašparovič, Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška and Prime Minister Fico, in which they described Sólyom's visit as provocation. Bajnai stated that Stephen I united the two nations.

"The commemoration of this event and the unveiling of his statue cannot under any circumstances be regarded as an attack on Slovak sovereignty," he said.

At the same time, Hungarian Prime Minister Bajnai pointed out that the Hungarian Government has officially apologised for the events connected to the Prague Spring in 1968, meaning that there cannot be any connection between the date of the unveiling ceremony and the anniversary of the Warsaw Pact invasion.

Bajnai also stated that it is the duty of the Slovak authorities to make sure that the unveiling takes place calmly and with dignity.

Bajnai added that Hungary has done its utmost to make sure there are no extraordinary incidents on Hungarian territory. He also confirmed the need to lower tension between the two countries via a mutual dialogue. Bajnai sees a good opportunity to do so in next week's meeting between the foreign affairs ministers, when they could discuss when and in what context a working meeting between the two prime ministers could take place, newswire TASR wrote.

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