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Archive for Hungary

Newsline: French ambassador to Hungary replaced after pro-Orban memo leaked

President Emmanuel Macron replaced the French ambassador to Hungary over the weekend after a confidential memo in which the envoy praised Hungarian leader Viktor Orban’s migrant policy was leaked to the press. Pascale Andreani was named as the new ambassador to Budapest to replace Eric Fournier, who will take on other functions, a decree published in the official gazette on Saturday showed. In the confidential note dated June 18, which was addressed to Macron’s office and was published by investigative website Mediapart, Fournier said Hungary was a “model” for dealing with migrants and that accusations of populism against Orban were media fabrications. The former ambassador also wrote that French media, by accusing Hungary of antisemitism, were seeking to distract attention from the “real antisemitism” coming from “Muslims in France and Germany”. Asked about the note on Friday, Macron said he did not share the ambassador’s views and that the confidential note did not represent official French policy.



Newsline: Foreign minister protests Hungarian flag at Romanian embassy

Romania’s foreign minister said he would summon the Hungarian ambassador to express his discontent after the flag of a group seeking autonomy within his country was draped over Romania’s national emblem at its embassy in Budapest. Teodor Melescanu called on Hungarian authorities to “guarantee the inviolability and integrity of Romanian missions and their staff.” The incident came days after Romanian Prime Minister Mihai Tudose angered Hungarians with provocative comments about autonomy efforts by Szeklers, an ethnic Hungarian group who live in Romania.


Newsline: Hungary summons Romanian ambassador

Hungary summoned Romania’s ambassador on Friday to complain about remarks from Romanian Prime Minister Mihai Tudose who earlier this week appeared to physically threaten ethnic Hungarians demanding autonomy. In reaction to a resolution signed by three ethnic Hungarian political groupings calling for the autonomy of part of Romania where ethnic Hungarians have a sizable population, Tudose told private television Realitatea TV: “I have sent message that if the Szekler flag flies over the institutions over there, they will all fly next to the flag. Autonomy for Szeklers is out of the question.” Szeklers account for a large chunk of ethnic Hungarians living in the Romanian region of Transylvania. Budapest has been supportive of ethnic Hungarians’ autonomy aspirations and Hungarian politicians reacted with fury to the remarks. Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto on Friday was cited by national news agency MTI as saying that Tudose’s “comments in which he practically threatened representatives of …a national community with execution, are entirely unacceptable.” Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who will seek reelection for a third consecutive term on April 8, had granted ethnic Hungarians in neighboring countries citizenship shortly after he took office in 2010 as part of his efforts to restore a battered sense of national pride. Many Hungarians view the 1920 Treaty of Trianon as a national tragedy because it took away two-thirds of the country’s territory and left millions of ethnic Hungarians living in what are now Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine and Serbia. Orban has won popularity at home by reaching out to Hungarians outside the country’s borders who were allowed to vote in the national election for the first time in 2014.


Newsline: Hungary to open embassy in Uganda

Uganda has formally accepted a request from Hungary to open a Diplomatic Mission at the level of Charge D’Affaires in Kampala in the near future. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sam Kutesa, revealed the new development during a meeting with Hungary’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Frenc Dancs, at the ministry’s offices in Kampala. Kutesa, according to a press release, recalled that he had had an opportunity to meet with the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September.


Newsline: Hungary plans to reopen embassy in Libya

The Libyan government said that Hungary prepares to reopen its embassy in the country. The announcement came after a meeting between UN-backed deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq and Hungarian Ambassador to Libya Bela Marton in the capital Tripoli, media office of the prime minister said in a statement. Marton said Hungary will send a technical team in November to prepare for the return of the Hungarian Embassy in Tripoli. Foreign missions in Libya evacuated from Tripoli in 2014 after violence erupted between rival armed groups, which eventually resulted in the current political division.


Newsline: Hungary pulls ambassador from Netherlands

Hungary has pulled its ambassador out of the Netherlands, in response to criticism by the outgoing Dutch ambassador in Hungary. Gajus Scheltema reportedly criticised Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán’s government in a magazine interview, comparing its rhetoric to that of Islamic terrorists, and sparking the row. According to the ANP, Hungarian foreign minister Péter Szijjártó announced on that ‘contacts at an ambassadorial level have been suspended indefinitely’, and said Scheltema had overstepped the boundaries of his role. Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders distanced himself from the ambassador’s reported comments.


Newsline: Hungary summons Canadian ambassador in diplomatic spat

Relations between Canada and NATO ally Hungary got a bit testy this week, after the Hungarian foreign ministry summoned Canada’s ambassador to the country to chastise her over public statements expressing concern about the fate of a Budapest university and academic freedom in the country. The Hungarian government has recently introduced a new law on higher education that some observers believe targets the Central European University (CEU), founded by billionaire philanthropist George Soros in 1991 and led by former leader of the Liberal Party of Canada Michael Ignatieff. Ignatieff, who is the rector and president of CEU, has waged a fierce public relations battle opposing the new rules and has called on the European Union and the Washington to intervene on behalf of the university.