“The Hungarian Government expects the Romanian authorities to restore the military cemetery in Úzvölgy to its original state, and to eliminate the violation of sanctity and the vandalization of graves”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said on Tuesday in Parliament.

In reply to a pre-agenda comment, Mr. Szijjártó said the Government agrees with the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ), which wants true dialogue and the restoration of legality, meaning the restoration of the original state of the cemetery. “We regard this as the only acceptable decision and development”, he stated.

The Minister confirmed that the Government regards last week’s events in Úzvölgy (Valea Uzului) as unacceptable, as well as the process that led to the events. “The vandalization of graves, the violation of sanctity, the conscious falsification of historical facts and the violence used against Hungarian people at the cemetery are unacceptable”, he declared.

“We expect the Romanian authorities to investigate the violent events and punish the perpetrators, and to prevent anything similar from occurring in future”, he added.

The Minister said that the legal, factual and moral justice with relation to the affair are all on Hungary’s side.

“The soldiers laid to rest in the cemetery are fundamentally, and in the majority, Hungarian; all relevant documents corroborate this. This is something that everyone must accept”, he stated.

Mr. Szijjártó recalled the decisions of the Romanian authorities with relation to the issue: “Following several submissions by the RMDSZ, on 9 May the Romanian state construction supervisory authority determined that the local council of the settlement of Dormánfalva (Dărmănești) issued the permit for the establishment of a Romanian plot at the cemetery based on documentation that did not clearly prove its ownership of the land”. “Meaning the local council of Dormánfalva issued the construction permit unlawfully”, he said in summary.

“On 10 May, the Romanian Ministry of Culture also established that the concrete structure had been erected unlawfully on top of the graves of Hungarian soldiers”, he continued.

“According to an official opinion issued by the Romanian Ministry of National Defence on 31 May, the conversion of foreign military memorials can only be performed with the prior authorisation of the Heroes’ Memorial Office,  which operates under the supervision of the Ministry”, Mr. Szijjártó recalled, adding: “The Office did not issue any authorisation of this kind”.

The Foreign Minister said Hungary had continuously searched for the opportunity to enter into communication: The Hungarian Directorate for Military Commemoration and the Care of War Graves had attempted to contact the Romanian Ministry of National Defence on several occasions, but were rejected every time. The two Prime Ministers have spoken personally about the issue, and he himself has spoken with the Romanian Foreign Minister on several occasions, he added.

Mr. Szijjártó said information had also been received on Monday by telephone, after which they had consulted with the leaders of the RMDSZ and agreed on the party’s standpoint.

“We expect the Romanian authorities to restore the military cemetery in Úzvölgy to its original state and to eliminate the violation of sanctity and the vandalization of graves in accordance with bilateral agreements and international treaties”, he stated.

The Minister responded to a pre-agenda comment from Péter Harrach (KDNP). The governing party politician said that in his opinion: “On 6 June we saw the actions of a small, chauvinist group whose goal is to erase the Hungarian past from Transylvania, and with it the Hungarian present”. “We are justified in expecting the Romanian authorities to prevent similar incidents in future”, he declared.