“Hungarian-Romanian relations must be based on civility and mutual respect”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó told reporters on Friday evening.

The Minister was reacting to the fact that on Friday the Romanian authorities refused entry to Attila Dabis, the Foreign Affairs Commissioner of the Szekler National Council (SNT). Mr. Dabis was on his was to Târgu Mureș (Marosvásárhely) to attend Saturday’s commemoration and march marking the Day of Szekler Freedom, when he was prevented from entering the country by Romanian border guards on the Hungarian-Romanian border.

“On Friday, a Hungarian citizen was informed at the Borș (Bors) border crossing station that he has been banned from entering Romania”, the Foreign Minister explained.

“We would like Hungarian-Romanian relations to be based on civility and mutual respect, but unfortunately measures such as these do not facilitate this”, he said.

Mr. Szijjártó said that in his opinion Romania has the right to make decisions of this kind, but a decision to ban someone can only be made based on a court ruling, and no court ruling was cited at the border when the Hungarian citizen was informed of the decision.

“Hungary’s foreign representations immediately contacted the Romanian officials in charge of the Borș border crossing station, who explained they are not authorised to reply to queries”, he said, adding that the Ministry had also contacted the headquarters of Romania’s national border police authority, who also refused to provide information.

The Ministry will be sending a memorandum to the Romanian Foreign Minister and Minister of Interior with relation to the issue, he highlighted.

“In the 21st century it is unacceptable for such a situation to arise between two neighbouring countries that are both member states of the European Union, in which the freedom of movement of a citizen of the European Union is infringed upon in this manner”, Mr. Szijjártó declared, adding that the Hungarian citizen was attempting to cross the border in accordance with regulations, using the designated border crossing point, during opening hours and with a valid passport.

“We are asking Romania’s leaders to try and handle Hungarian-Romanian relations in the spirit of civility and mutual respect, and this affair does not correspond to this principle”, he said.

With relation to the commemoration, the Foreign Minister said historical facts must clearly be respected, and accordingly nobody should be stripped of their right to commemorate their historical heroes either. “Hopefully, the Romanian authorities will act in a European manner with relation to today’s events”, he said.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)