Sympathisers gathered at the French institute in Budapest on Thursday evening to express their solidarity with France in wake of a massacre in the French capital. Solidarity is the greatest force against terrorism, the French ambassador said at the memorial event in Budapest. “We have gathered here in front of the French Institute today to reassert our rejection of terrorism, hatred and violence, and to declare that nothing can undermine our dedication to free speech, press freedom or the freedom of conscience and religion,” Roland Galharague told the gathering. He said French people were touched by the solidarity expressed by senior Hungarian officials and ordinary citizens in the aftermath of the terrorist attack.
István Íjgyártó, the Hungarian foreign ministry’s deputy state secretary, stated full solidarity with France. The commemoration was attended by senior officials of the justice ministry and Bernadett Szél, the co-chair of the opposition LMP party. Participants lit candles and many carried banners reading “Je suis Charlie” and flowers. The French embassy expressed thanks for the solidarity the Hungarian president, the prime minister, the foreign minister, the government, society, politicians and the press expressed with the French people.
Meanwhile the Hungary counter-terrorism centre (TEK) has revealed that in December two French male youths attempted to cross Hungary with the intention of reaching the Middle East in order to join the Islamic State. The head of the centre János Hajdu told commercial broadcaster TV2 that TEK had received information about the French nationals, and on this basis they were detained at the Hungarian-Serbian border crossing of Kelebia and handed over to the French authorities. He added that this had not been an isolated or single case. Hajdu did not know of any Hungarian national with a similar aim as the Frenchmen. Last November a young Dutch female was stopped attempting to join the IS at the same border crossing.
via hungarymatters.hu photo: Lajos Soós – MTI