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Romania’s Foreign Ministry criticises President Novák

June 2nd, 2023

A left-wing commentator believes Hungarian leaders often behave tactlessly when visiting neighbouring countries.

President Katalin Novák joined tens of thousands of Hungarians from Hungary and Romania at the traditional annual pilgrimage at Șumuleu Ciuc (Csíksomlyó) in Transylvania and posted a Facebook video showing participants singing the ‘Szekler Anthem’, which includes the prayer: Let Transylvania fall not, God of Ours!’. The Romanian Foreign Ministry reproached her for making ‘unacceptable remarks about a historic region of Romania’. Her office qualified that critique as ‘exaggerated and unjustified but not unusual’.

In Népszava, Mária Gál believes the words of the Szekler anthem were not the real reason for the Romanian Foreign Office to summon Hungary’s Ambassador and protest against President Novák’s private visit to Romania. The left-wing columnist believes high-ranking Hungarian officials should pay courtesy visits to local officials even during private visits to neighbouring countries. King Charles III for instance, she remarks, will visit Transylvania (the birthplace of one of his ancestors where he owns a cottage) over the weekend but not without a stop-over in Bucharest to meet Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

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