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Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó has called on the Romanian president to “show more respect to Hungarians” after Klaus Iohannis accused the Social Democratic Party (PSD) of “wanting to relinquish Transylvania to Hungary”.
In a television interview, Iohannis, commenting on a recent tacit approval by Romania’s chamber of deputies of a draft law on granting territorial autonomy to Szekler Land, said the Social Democrats, who hold a relative majority of seats, “are fighting to hand over Transylvania to the Hungarians”. Iohannis then raised the question of what Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán “could have offered in exchange for an agreement”.
Szijjártó said Iohannis’s comments were “particularly uncivilised and could incite hatred”. Klaus Iohannis should be aware that the vast majority of Hungarians living in Transylvania and Szekler Land voted for him in the Romanian presidential election,” the foreign minister said.
Hungary’s interests lie in nurturing good relations with Romania, he said, arguing that the two countries were important economic partners. Transylvania and Szekler Land Hungarians also have a vested interest in good relations between the two countries, Szijjártó said. He added, however, that recent comments from certain Romanian politicians “make it hard to maintain good neighbourly relations”.