The new Ambassador of Serbia, Radmila Hustanovic, as well as the new Ambassador of the United Kingdom, Susannah Montgomery, presented their credentials to Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič on September 19. In addition, Gašparovič recently welcomed Valeriu Chiveri, the new Ambassador of Moldova, and Csaba Balogh, the new Ambassador from Hungary, the SITA newswire reported.
Ambassador Hustanovic said that political support from Slovakia is very important for her country, adding that Slovakia is a model of a successful country which has established itself in the European Union. Ambassador Chiveri also stated his appreciation for Slovakia’s help to his country and said improving economic relations between the countries will be a priority of his mission in the office. Ambassador Montgomery said the United Kingdom is interested in developing further economic relations and investments and intensifying cultural relations with Slovakia.
Gašparovič received the new Hungarian Ambassador, Csaba Balogh, who stated he will focus on the positive sides of bilateral relations. "We cannot forget the issues where we do not yet have a common position, but it is the role of diplomacy to search for solutions and diffuse tensions," Balogh stated, as quoted by the SITA newswire, emphasising the importance of a strong central Europe and cooperation between Slovakia and Hungary. Balogh also held talks with representatives of the non-parliamentary Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) and promised to meet with representatives of other Slovak political parties as well.
"The SMK is exceptional for the Hungarian government as it unambiguously supports the rights of the Hungarian minority in Slovakia. Our opinions are not always the same as those held by other politicians. This is also the case with Most-Híd. But the fact that we do not always agree does not mean that we will not talk to each other," Balogh told journalists.
Balogh and József Berényi, SMK’s chairman, discussed the issue of dual-citizenship, the situation of ethnic-Hungarians living in Slovakia and areas of mutual co-operation, the TASR newswire reported. The right to vote should not be used to discriminate against citizens of Hungary or ethnic-Hungarians living in other countries, Balogh said, confirming that the Hungarian parliament will discuss a new election act designed to provide the right to vote to ethnic Hungarians living in other countries this autumn. The ambassador said he believes Hungary's current election law must be changed because the number of Hungarians without permanent residence in Hungary is growing, adding that Hungary will take international legal norms and its own requirements into consideration when drafting a new law.
Balogh said the Slovak government should realise that ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia are loyal to Slovakia even though they maintain relations with Hungary, adding that the situation involving the Hungarian community in Slovakia cannot be regarded as settled until Slovakia’s parliament stops feeling the need to debate issues pertaining to the Hungarian community at almost every session, the TASR newswire wrote.
Source: SITA, TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
20. Sep 2011 at 14:00