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A Hungarian-Ukrainian inter-ministerial education working group is holding its fourth meeting in Budapest to discuss the settlement of the rights of ethnic Hungarians living in Transcarpathia and the situation of Ukrainian refugees, a foreign ministry official said on Friday. Levente Magyar, the ministry’s parliamentary state secretary, told MTI that he was optimistic that the sides could agree on a roadmap for settling their disagreements. Ukraine in recent years has introduced a number of measures that restrict ethnic Hungarians’ right to education in their mother tongue, Magyar noted, adding that Hungary has kept this matter on the agenda for years. “This is important enough for us that we’ve even blocked Ukraine from joining and deepening its ties with the EU and NATO,” he said. Hungary has again made it clear to Ukraine that it will not budge on this decision unless relevant steps are taken to restore the rights of the local Hungarian community, the state secretary said. He added, however, that the early indications in connection with the talks gave cause for optimism. Even if the sides failed to reach agreement on every detail, they could still agree on a roadmap that may lead to a settlement of these issues in the foreseeable future, Magyar said. The working group will also discuss the situation of Ukrainian refugees in Hungary, he said. The thousands of children who have stayed in the country must be taught Hungarian and integrated into the school system, he noted. Magyar, who is deputy foreign minister, signed a declaration of intent on cooperation within the framework of the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship programme with Yevhen Kudriavets, Ukraine’s deputy education minister, according to a statement.