Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó met Teodor Meleșcanu, his Romanian counterpart, and “emphatically requested” that Romania “leave no room for provocation” and to “do everything to avoid any physical transgression” in connection with recent changes to the Valea Uzului (Úzvölgye) military cemetery, Tamás Menczer, a foreign ministry state secretary, said in a statement. Whereas Romania is an important partner because of its Hungarian minority and bilateral trade, the government maintains its position against restructuring the cemetery which would transgress Romanian regulations, he said
The Valea Uzului military cemetery is the largest WW1 memorial site in Romania’s Harghita county. However, the local council of the eastern Romanian town of Dărmănești, in Bacău County, has moved to establish a memorial site in the cemetery for Romanian soldiers who fell in WWII. This has seen the erection of 52 concrete crosses and one large Orthodox cross in the fenced-off cemetery site holding the graves of some 600 soldiers of Austria-Hungary.
“Everybody has the right to pay tribute to their own heroes but this cannot be done unlawfully or by violating the reverence of others,” Menczer said, adding that the Romanian foreign minister had agreed to meet Szijjártó’s requests.
Zsolt Semjén, Hungary’s deputy prime minister in charge of Hungarian communities abroad, church policy and national and ethnic minorities, visited the on Wednesday.
“An adult nation cannot be defamatory of the dead,” Semjén said in a video posted on Facebook in connection with a dispute around a memorial site in the Austro-Hungarian military cemetery. “The dead all have a right to rest underneath symbols of their ethnic and religious identity.”
Semjén said every community had a right to lay flowers on the graves of their ancestors. “We, Hungarians respect the dead of all nations, whether they be Romanians, Austrians, Germans or Russians,” he said, adding that Hungarians also expect others to respect their dead.