“Hungary has ordered its Ambassador to Holland home for consultation, and ambassador-level relations between the two countries will remain on hold for an undetermined period”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó announced on Friday in Budapest.

“This is one of the most radical diplomatic measures possible”, he added.

Mr. Szijjártó told reporters he had ordered the Chargé d'affaires to personally reject the slanders and unfounded accusations against Hungary at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday, and to demand an explanation from the Dutch Foreign Minstry with regard to what is behind the statements and whether the Dutch Ambassador had acted in accordance to a central mandate or of his own accord.

“We will not be satisfied with an explanation behind closed doors”, he declared.

In an interview for Hungarian news portal 168 óra (168 hours), outgoing Dutch Ambassador Gajus Scheltema said that extremist Islamists “create enemies according to the same principles as the Hungarian Government”.

Mr. Szijjártó stressed: “Holland’s Ambassador to Budapest has made a statement that totally disregards and goes severely beyond diplomatic practice, and violates both the dignity and sovereignty of Hungary, which is an extremely rare occurrence, and Holland’s Ambassador to Budapest has abused Hungary in an interview, and accordingly we cannot neglect to demand an official statement on the issue from the Dutch Government”, he said.

“The interview included many unfounded accusations, unfair slanders and statements that must be rejected, but the most serious of these was when the Dutch Ambassador practically equated Hungary to the terrorists”, the Foreign Minister said.

“Hungary’s standpoint is clear; we want to protect the country and the Hungarian people, Europe and the European people, and will not allow in illegal immigrants”, Mr. Szijjártó declared.

The Foreign Minister also criticised the Dutch Ambassador’s statement according to which terrorist attacks using vehicles could happen anywhere.

“It would be difficult to make a more disrespectful and insensitive statement. We will never accept the fact that Europe should be a continent in which terrorist attacks using vehicles could happen anywhere, killing people”, he declared.

Mr. Szijjártó also told reporters that Holland’s new Ambassador would not be received by any Ministry or state institution until the Dutch Government provides an official explanation for the statements.

In reply to a question, the Hungarian Foreign Minister indicated: If it proves to be the case that the statements published in the interview were not the private opinion of the Ambassador and if the Dutch do not issue a suitable statement of apology, then the ordering home of the Hungarian Ambassador to Holland will be long term, in addition to which the related necessary diplomatic or political steps will be duly taken.

In reply to a question, Mr. Szijjártó told reporters that Hungary has so far not even received a non-official explanation behind closed doors.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)