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Slovakia expresses outrage over Hungarian foreign minister’s statements

Slovakia's Foreign Affairs Ministry on Thursday, September 17, summoned Hungarian Ambassador to Slovakia Antal Heizer in order to convey Slovakia's outrage and Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák's personal annoyance over Hungarian Foreign Affairs Minister Péter Balázs' statements to the German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung, ministry spokesman Peter Stano announced.

Slovakia's Foreign Affairs Ministry on Thursday, September 17, summoned Hungarian Ambassador to Slovakia Antal Heizer in order to convey Slovakia's outrage and Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák's personal annoyance over Hungarian Foreign Affairs Minister Péter Balázs' statements to the German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung, ministry spokesman Peter Stano announced.

The Slovak ministry said it considers the statements published in Thursday's issue of the paper, in which Balázs' is quoted referring to Slovakia as a “younger brother that needs to be taught European manners” and comparing Slovakia to Romania under the Ceausescu's dictatorship, to be unacceptable.

The ministry described the statements by Balázs as inexplicable, especially after the meeting between the two countries’ premiers in the Hungarian town of Szécsény last week during which a joint 11-point proclamation emerged that was supposed to lead to progress in improving mutual relations, and following the visit of OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Knut Vollebaek to Slovakia on Wednesday and mutual acceptance of his recommendations concerning the controversial State Language Act.

The Slovak Foreign Ministry said it is not appropriate for a Hungarian representative to give lessons on behaviour to Hungary’s partners and allies in the European Union. Instead, Lajčák asked them to focus on what the citizens of the two countries, as well the European Union, expect from Slovakia and Hungary. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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