Heads of state of Hungary and the Czech Republic both praised bilateral relations as excellent in all areas, economic ties in particular, as János Áder paid a visit to his Czech counterpart Milos Zeman in Prague.
János Áder thanked Milos Zeman for the immediate help the Czech Republic had provided to Hungary in defending its borders. Concerning EU migrant quotas, Zeman expressed the conviction that the scheme constitutes a measure of interference in the member states’ internal affairs and sovereignty.The two presidents also discussed the issues of employment, EU competitiveness, energy security, Brexit and digital transformation.
Strengthening the defence of Europe’s borders and returning illegal migrants to their home countries must be part of the solution to the migrant crisis, Áder, who arrived in Prague on Tuesday on an official two-day visit, said. Asylum applications should be processed more quickly at the designated hot-spots set up along the EU’s borders, he added.
On the second day of his official visit, the Hungarian President laid a wreath at the plaque of János Esterházy, a leader of Slovakia’s ethnic Hungarian community between the two world wars, in a Prague cemetery.
Count János Esterházy (1901-1957), the sole Hungarian deputy in the Slovak Parliament before 1945, was a firm advocate of the ethnic Hungarian community, raising his voice against any violation of minority rights and against discrimination. Czechoslovak authorities arrested him in 1945 under the charge of war crimes, and turned him over to the Soviet military authorities. In 1947 he was sentenced to 10 years of forced labour in Moscow and handed a death sentence in absentia in Bratislava on trumped-up charges. Two years later, the Soviet Union extradited the ailing Esterházy to Czechoslovakia, where the president commuted the death sentence to life imprisonment. The count died in a prison in Mirov in March 1957. His ashes were identified in 2007 in Prague’s Motol cemetery. Despite all efforts by Slovakia’s ethnic Hungarian community, Esterházy has not been rehabilitated in Slovakia to date.
After the commemoration, President Áder travelled to Karlovy Vary to meet regional leaders. He also laid a wreath at the memorial site to Hungarian 19th-century poet János Arany, who was a regular patient between 1869-76 at the renowned spa town then called Carlsbad.
via hungarymatters.hu and MTI; featured photo: Szilárd Koszticsák – MTI