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President János Áder and his Slovenian counterpart Borut Pahor attended a celebration marking the 30th anniversary of the federation of Hungary’s Slovenian minority in Szentgotthárd, in western Hungary, on Saturday. “Those belonging to two homelands and nations will not halve their commitment but double it,” Áder said at the ceremony. All Hungary’s minorities are “constituents of the nation”, Áder said, adding that “the minorities living with us are part of us, they are our compatriots, neighbours, with whom we share our lives, fate, and homeland”.
Pahor said that the two countries shared a responsibility to help their minorities survive and prosper.
Áder said that the “centuries-old” peaceful coexistence of the Hungarian and Slovenian nations was “exemplary in a central and eastern Europe divided by inherited conflicts”. The two countries mutually appreciate their ethnic minorities and consider them as assets, he added. He also praised Slovenia for considering ethnic Hungarians as an indigenous minority and granting broad cultural rights and self-governance. “The least we can do is to provide the same to Hungary’s Slovenes,” he said.