March 15 always carries a relevant message in the United States because Americans understand that Hungary is a freedom-loving country and that Hungarians have proven themselves to be freedom fighters throughout their history, Hungary’s ambassador to the US said, marking the national holiday in Washington on Wednesday. Szabolcs Takács told MTI that Hungary always had to make it clear in the US that it was in its national interest that the war in Ukraine should end as soon as possible. Though “pro-war rhetoric is very strong in American public life”, more and more people, particularly conservatives, acknowledge that Hungary is a credible representative of peace efforts, Takács said. “They must understand that it is in our national interest that we have peace in our neighbourhood as soon as possible because that’s the only way we can guarantee the safety, prosperity and economic progress of Hungarians living in the Carpathian Basin,” the ambassador said. Hungary is committed to Ukraine’s independence and sovereignty but expects it to respect the rights of national minorities, he said. Takács on Wednesday laid a wreath at the statue of Hungarian 19th-century reform statesman Lajos Kossuth in the US Capitol Building before attending Kossuth Foundation’s wreath-laying ceremony at the Kossuth House in Washington, DC.
The national holiday was also commemorated at a Hungarian citizenship oath ceremony in Chicago. Péter Szilágyi, the deputy state secretary for policies for Hungarian communities abroad, said March 15 should be reminder for Hungarians to be “insistent on everything our ancestors fought for”. “Those who choose to be Hungarian choose this heritage, and can be proud of it,” Szilágyi said.