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SZIJJÁRTÓ: HUNGARY EXPECTS ROMANIA TO RESTORE WWI CEMETERY

 

The Hungarian government expects Romania’s authorities to restore the Valea Uzului (Úzvölgye) military cemetery “to its original state”, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in parliament. In agreement with Romania’s ethnic Hungarian RMDSZ party, the government considers restoration of the shrine “the only acceptable decision”, Szijjártó said. At the cemetery, containing the graves of Hungarian first world war soldiers, the local council has erected a memorial site for Romanian soldiers fallen in the second world war. Ahead of the site’s inauguration last Thursday, the visitors of that event clashed with Szekler demonstrators and eventually forced their way into the cemetery.
The Hungarian government’s position is that last Thursday’s incident and developments that triggered it are unacceptable, Szijjártó said. “The desecration of graves, a deliberate distortion of historic facts and violence against Hungarian people in the cemetery cannot be accepted,” he said.
Szijjártó cited decisions by Romanian authorities that included the country’s cultural ministry stating on May 10 that the placement of the concrete crosses had been unlawful.
Hungary’s office in charge of the maintenance of war graves has contacted the Romanian national defence ministry several times but has been turned down, Szijjártó said, noting that the issue had been discussed by the two countries’ prime ministers and foreign ministers.