“Respect for historical facts cannot be regarded as revisionism”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared at a session of Parliament’s National Solidarity Committee on Tuesday.

At his annual hearing before the Committee, the politician highlighted: “The same historical event can have totally different evaluations from different perspectives, but Hungary expects all neighbouring countries to respect the fact that it remembers certain historical events as belonging among the “saddest days in Hungarian history”.

“In general, the situation of Hungarian communities within the Carpathian Basin is better than it was five years ago, but many issues remain to be resolved”, he also said. “National policy is one of the most important areas of foreign policy. Since Hungary is a country in whose case the country and its borders do not correspond, national policy must be at the focus of foreign policy”, he stated.

“The goal when drawing up foreign policy strategy with relation to neighbouring countries is to continuously improve the situation of the Hungarian national community living in the given country, and to assure that the Hungarian community doesn’t separate us, but connects us, and that the leaders of neighbouring countries also think about this in the same way”, Mr. Szijjártó emphasised.

“It must be decided concerning relations with neighbouring countries whether an agreement must first be arrived at on everything with regard to minority issues, or whether success stories must be built in other fields to enable questions on minorities to then occasionally be opened with a hope of success”, he explained. “The government has chosen the second strategy, and the experiences of the past five years have proven that it has made the right decision: common successes also serve to generally improve the situation of the Hungarian community, and provide a chance to also discuss difficult issues based on a foundation of mutual trust”, he stated.

“We will not allow the Hungarian national community to be sacrificed on the altar of geopolitical positioning; when making foreign policy decisions only our own national interests must be taken into account”, the Foreign Minister declared. “We must accept the fact that the government is regularly placed under pressure as a result”, he added.

With relation to Serbia, Mr. Szijjártó said: “From among the neighbouring countries, including those that are member states of the European Union, Serbia is affording the Hungarian community the fairest process, and accordingly Hungary is justified in arguing in favour of Serbia’s EU accession”.

According to the Minister, Ukraine is the “counterpoint” to this. “Pressure on the Hungarian community has increased since the new presidential administration has taken office, and particularly on the part of the Ukrainian secret service, which is something that must be rejected”, he said, explaining that in his opinion they are, in a “twisted manner”, depicting measures that are exclusively aimed at improving the situation of the Hungarian national community living in Transcarpathia as revisionism. “We have great hope with relation to the new Ukrainian leadership, but apart from the positive statements there has been no progress thus far”, he stated, adding: “Nevertheless, Hungary is striving to achieve good relations with Ukraine”.

“We are maintaining the best relations ever with Slovakia with regard to practical issues, and there has been progress concerning certain minority issues, but there are some questions that must still be resolved”, the politician said. Concerning Romania, Mr. Szijjártó said: “The country is lacking political stability, whereas it would be in Hungary’s interest for a stable political leadership to come about, with which we can come to an agreement”.

The Foreign Minister also spoke about the fact that there have recently been several instances in which Hungarian parties and their representatives did not campaign in support of Hungarian candidates taking part in cross-border political elections. “This is a new phenomenon, which cannot really be listed among the most favourable”, he said, adding: “The right thing to do is for cross-border Hungarians to support Hungarian politicians”.