Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó has asked for Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Meleşcanu to intervene in the case of the military cemetery in Valea Uzului (Úzvölgy), the Ministry said in a statement to Hungarian news agency MTI on Monday. Mr. Szijjártó held talks with his Romanian counterpart with relation to the construction work being performed at the Hungarian military cemetery on the sidelines of a meeting of Eastern Partnership foreign ministers in Bratislava.

Mr. Szijjártó asked his Romanian counterpart to intervene at the related local government in the interests of having the work stopped, in view of the fact that there may still be undiscovered Hungarian military graves in the cemetery, and building a memorial on top of these would be disrespectful to the deceased and in contravention of existing treaties, the Ministry said.

In addition, Mr. Szijjártó called for the earliest possible commencement of expert negotiations between the two defence ministries in the interests of finding an acceptable resolution to the issue.

The two ministers confirmed their respective government’s commitment to the continuous improvement of bilateral relations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in the statement.

The military cemetery in Valea Uzului is Hargita County’s largest and most important First World War commemorative site, but the local government of the Transcarpathian town of Darmenesti (Dormánfalva) has arbitrarily decided to establish a memorial for WWI and WW2 Romanian soldiers in the First World War Austrian-Hungarian military cemetery in Úzvölgye, which belongs to the municipality of Sânmartin (Csíkszentmárton). As part of the project, 52 concrete crosses and a large orthodox cross have been erected in the fenced-off cemetery, which is the final resting place for some seven hundred soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy.

Last week, President of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ) Hunor Kelemen wrote a letter to Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă asking that she stop the reconstruction of the military cemetery in Valea Uzului (Úzvölgy) using administrative means until the issue is resolved.