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Hungary and Romania Start Talks on Úzvölgye Cemetery

MTI-Hungary Today 2019.06.27.

Talks on the Úzvölgye (Valea Uzului) memorial cemetery in Romania, a resting place of Hungarian WW1 soldiers, started between Hungarian and Romanian authorities, Colonel Vilmos Kovács, the head of the Hungarian delegation, told MTI on Wednesday.

In April this year, the council of Darmanesti (Dormánfalva) erected a memorial site for Romanian soldiers fallen in the second world war within the cemetery. Ahead of the site’s inauguration on June 6, the visitors of that event clashed with Szekler demonstrators and eventually forced their way into the cemetery.

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Hungary has slammed the incident as “blasphemous, in violation of laws and international agreements and also deeply immoral” and demanded the site’s restoration, where they said the memorial had been erected over the ashes of Hungarian soldiers.

President Áder on Úzvölgye Cemetery Incident: ‘Blasphemous, Unlawful and Immoral’

At the meeting of officials from the two countries’ authorities responsible for war grave maintenance, the Hungarian party reiterated its request for restoration. The talks will continue in September, with the officials’ visit to the cemetery, Kovács, who also heads the Hungarian Institute and Museum for Military History, said. At that visit, representatives of all countries who have soldiers buried in Úzvölgye will be invited, he said.

Hungary has proposed exhuming the bodies underneath the new memorial to prove that there are indeed Hungarians interred there, he said. Romania wants to expand that procedure to all the cemetery, he added.

Csíkszereda Protestors Demand Úzvölgye Cemetery’s Restoration

Kovács said that contrary to news reports, the Romanian defence ministry’s takeover of the cemetery’s maintenance has not been decided yet. The Csíkszentmárton (Sanmartin) local council, which so far supervised it, “has done a good job”, he said, and Hungary does not want changes in that respect, he said.

Kovács said that hopefully the September talks will bring “a professional and mutually satisfying solution”.

Featured photo by Edit Kátai/MTI

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