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Hungarian President János Áder has slammed a Thursday incident in the Valea Uzului (Úzvölgye) military cemetery between Hungarians and Romanians as “blasphemous, in violation of laws and international agreements and also deeply immoral.”

The cemetery in eastern Romania commemorates Hungarian soldiers fallen in the first world war. In April 2019, the local council erected a memorial site in the cemetery, for Romanian soldiers fallen in the second world war. Ahead of the site’s inauguration late on Thursday, the visitors of that event clashed with Szekler demonstrators and eventually forced their way into the cemetery.

Speaking after attending the Whitsun mass in Şumuleu Ciuc (Csíksomlyó), a traditional place of pilgrimage in Romania, Áder said that the memorial for Romanian soldiers contained 52 crosses, some of which “have been erected over the ashes of Hungarian soldiers”. The Romanian authorities have also found the memorial site unlawful, he said. The construction of the memorial site infringes on the Romanian-Hungarian agreement on the maintenance of war graves, Áder said. It is also “deeply immoral”, he added.

It is in the interest of Hungary and of ethnic Hungarians living in Romania to find a solution enabling a peaceful coexistence between Romanians and Hungarians, he said.