Slovakia and Hungary have “multi-coloured” relations, so disagreements in certain spheres should not be viewed dramatically, Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák said after a meeting with his Hungarian counterpart Péter Szijjarto in Bratislava on October 7.
“It was an opportunity to hold bilateral talks to debate issues like two mature partners, like two EU-member countries. This is how we’ll progress,” said Lajčák, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
Lajčák said that it is not a tragedy when the two countries do not always agree; one of the areas where their governments disagree is, for example, the Slovak citizenship law that de facto prohibits accepting citizenship of another country. “There are no taboo topics, we discuss everything together,” said Lajčák. He added, however, that we should realise that the law concerns the relationship of Slovakia to Slovak citizens. “We don’t want to lose citizens," he said, as quoted by the SITA newswire. But he opined that Slovakia is not under international pressure due to this law. “The European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice acknowledged that the law is right,” he concluded.
“There are also hot topics but these must be addressed in a civilised matter," said Szijjarto adding that it is not necessary to send each other messages through the media. He said that Slovakia and Hungary must find a solution to the law against dual citizenship. According to him, the two countries are preparing joint commissions that will deal with the issue.
The ministers agreed on the need of economic cooperation, mainly concerning specific projects that will serve the people of both countries. In this respect, Lajčák pointed to a memo on 20 projects signed earlier this year by prime ministers of Slovakia and Hungary, Robert Fico and Viktor Orbán, respectively. “Slovakia is our fourth most important partner in foreign trade,” Szijjarto pointed out for SITA adding that the volume of mutual transactions last year exceeded 8 billion euros.
“We’ve confirmed interest in maintaining a constructive atmosphere in our relations... and friendly neighbouring dialogue in bilateral, European and global issues,” said Lajčák, adding that presidents Andrej Kiska and János Ader are also set to meet soon.
Szijjarto has visited Slovakia as the first foreign country since assuming the post of minister on September 23. He described Slovakia as a strategic partner in far more spheres than foreign trade. Bilateral controversies must be discussed in a cultivated European manner, he said as quoted by TASR.
“We have to have joint success in order to resolve successfully [these issues]," said Szijjarto, pointing to projects such as the planned opening of new border crossings between Hungary and Slovakia, the number of which should be doubled. Other projects include the construction of a motorway between Miskolc and Košice and a motorway from Hungary to Bratislava. Apart from this, there is a major energy project that involves the opening of a new gas link between the two countries set as of early 2015.
(Source: TASR, SITA)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
8. Oct 2014 at 10:00