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Hungarian govn't wants observers in Transcarpathia

D&T
December 8, 2017

The Hungarian government is initiating the installation of long-term observers by the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) in Transcarpathia to monitor the situation of the Hungarian minority after a new education legislation there.

According to Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó who spoke at the plenary meeting of the Ministerial Council of the OSCE in Vienna this Thursday, Hungary greatly appreciates the work done by the organisation’s observers in Ukraine. He pointed out that the organisation’s border monitoring mission operating on the Russian side of the Russian-Ukrainian border is led by a Hungarian diplomat.

He reiterated: Hungary was previously a committed supporter of Ukraine in a number of areas, but the education legislation passed in September which significantly curtails the rights of minorities to study in their mother tongues was a source of great disappointment. The law is utterly incompatible with Ukraine’s bilateral and international obligations, and they must therefore restore the rights of national minorities, he stated.

The minister was quoted by the Hungarian news agency MTI as saying that Hungary is concerned about the situation in Transcarpathia where some 150 thousand Hungarians live. Hungary is therefore initiating the installation of long-term OSCE observers in the region which cannot come up against any obstacle in light of the fact that the mission’s mandate extends to the entire territory of the country, he said. He added: Transcarpathia is a multi-ethnic territory, and the new education legislation does not promote peaceful cohabitation in the region.

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