N E W S L E T T E R
from the Daily Bulletin of the Hungarian News Agency MTI
distributed by the Department for Press and International Information
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Hungary
H-1394, Budapest P.O.B. 423.
Telephone: 36 (1) 156-8000
Telefax: 36 (1) 156-3801
No. 47/1995 06 March 1995
Finnish President for Budapest
Budapest, March 3 (MTI) - President Martti Ahtisaari of the Republic of
President, together with his wife Eeva Ahtisaari, Foreign Minister Paavo
Rantanen and Heikki Koski, former president of the Finnish-Hungarian Society,
will pay an official visit to Hungary from March 8 to 10 at the invitation of
President Arpad Goncz.
Finland has been a full member of the European Union since January 1,
Thanks to the linguistic affinity, relations between Hungary and Finlan
are traditionally good. President Goncz visited Helsinki in August 1991, the
Finnish foreign minister had talks in Budapest in December 1993, and last
February Hungarian Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs visited Finland.
Consultations between various ministers of the two countries are frequent.
Helsinki has been closely watching progress made by the European
new democracies including Hungary, and supports the democratic
transformation and the establishment of a market economy. Finland agrees
with Hungary's objectives to seek European integration, and helps Hungary's
accession to the European Union by transferring its experience.
Hungarian-Finnish trade ties are showing dynamic headway, and the
value of trade in 1994 totaled USD309.9 million. 55 Hungarian-Finnish joint
ventures are operating in Hungary.
President Ahtisaari will hold talks with President Goncz, and meet Prim
Minister Gyula Horn and Speaker of Parliament Zoltan Gal. President Ahtisaari
is expected to deliver a lecture entitled European Security in the 1990s at the
request of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Hungarian Foreign
Affairs Society, and together with President Goncz attend an international
seminar dealing with Northern and Central European regional cooperation.
He is also due to open a joint exhibition featuring works by applied ar
students from the northern states entitled VARDE, to be arranged under the
motto "Northern Lights", one of the events at the Budapest Spring Festival.
During President Ahtisaari's visit the Hungarian and Finnish ministers
of culture will sign a cultural accord in the presence of the two heads of
Decree on Privatization Minister's Tasks
Budapest, March 3 (MTI) - The government decree setting down the
tasks of the Minister without Portfolio in charge of Privatization was
in the March 1 issue of the Hungarian Gazette (Magyar Kozlony), and therefore
is now in force.
Accordingly, the minister will fulfill, in cooperation with the ministe
concerned, the tasks related to creating the government's privatization
strategy amidst the frameworks of economic policy.
He will have to coordinate government decisions that concern the
state's entrepreneurial assets.
As a designated member of the government, the minister will exercise
shareholder rights in the State Holding Co. The minister will exercise his
authority in the State Property Agency in a manner set down by separate law.
With respect to the state's entrepreneurial assets, the minister must exercise
all rights that fall on him under laws or government resolutions.
As was reported, the Prime Minister appointed Tamas Suchman, an MP
of the Hungarian Socialist Party, Minister without Portfolio in charge of
Privatization, who took the oath of office before Parliament three days ago, on
Memorandum to Amend EU Associate Agreement
Budapest, March 3 (MTI) - Hungary has compiled a memorandum to
adjust the associate agreement concluded with the European Union.
The document was presented to the Budapest representatives of the
European Union and its member states on Friday by the President of the
European Affairs Office of the Hungarian Ministry of Industry and Trade, Peter
Gottfried, and the Ministry's General Secretary, Istvan Major, Ministry
The memorandum contains the changes deemed necessary by the
Hungarian side that should be implemented in the associate contract in view
of the agreements reached at the Uruguay round of GATT, and the
membership of Austria, Finland and Sweden in the European Union.
In the course of the meeting, the Hungarian officials asked the
representatives of the EU member states and the European Commission to
provide assistance at their own authorities, based on today's meeting and the
detailed arguments in the document, in order that the March 6 session of the
European Union's Council of Ministers provide appropriate authorization to
the European Commission.
Hungarian Diplomat Attacked in Tehran Dies
Budapest, March 3 (MTI) - The former Hungarian commercial counselor
to Tehran, Jozsef Nagy, died in Budapest on March 2 at the age of 58, after a
The counselor and his wife were attacked in their Tehran home during
the night of September 27, 1994. Mrs Nagy died immediately from injuries
sustained, while Mr Nagy suffered critical injuries.
Investigations have since found that the attack was carried out by six
Afghan and an Iranian man.
News of Mr Nagy's death was announced by his family and the
Hungarian Ministry of Industry and Trade in a communique forwarded to MTI
The Ministry announced it will make arrangements for Mr Nagy's funeral
at a later date.
World Federation of Hungarians - Basic Treaties
Budapest, March 3 (MTI) - The basic agreements to be concluded should
suit the Hungarian minority living beyond the borders. If this is not possible,
then it is not urgent to sign the documents, according to the President of the
World Federation of Hungarians (WFH), Sandor Csoori.
Speaking at a press conference in the organization's Budapest
headquarters on Friday, Csoori said the WFH and representatives of ethnic
Hungarians held a conference on Friday, with the involvement of historians,
politicians and political scientists.
WFH Vice-President Laszlo Dobos said he considers it a step
backwards from the part of the Western political center that they give
preference to the conclusion of the basic agreements over the application of
the human rights and minority protection international documents signed in
the previous years.
Reformed Bishop Laszlo Tokes, honorary President of the Hungarian
Democratic Union of Romania (HDUR), announced the HDUR will not give up
its autonomy policy goals declared in 1992, and would not consider the basic
agreement as binding for the organization if it contains restrictions about
The HDUR position is to rather leave out the minority clause of the document,
if that has a restrictive effect.
Tokes welcomed the promise of Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn,
whereby the Hungarian government would hold consultations with the
minority leaders prior to the signing of the document, when the final text is
Sandor Hodi, member of the leadership of the Hungarian Federation of
Vojvodina, said the documents should not be signed until the European
political conditions of handling the minority issue with the same standard have
matured throughout the continent.
EU Leadership Awaits Basic Agreements - Horn
Budapest, March 3 (MTI) - Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn on
Friday afternoon received a letter from the President of the European Union
Commission, and the three countries that have, are and will fulfill the
presidency (the troika members), in which they express their desire and hope
that the good neighbourly agreements between the Central European
countries will be reached prior to the Paris Conference on Stability, and will
form a part of the stability pact to be created there.
Government spokesman Elemer Csak, who informed MTI on Friday
evening, again confirmed that the Hungarian government will do everything it
can in order to complete the basic agreements under preparation with
Slovakia and Romania, and for these to become part of the pan-European
World Federation of Hungarians on Basic Treaties
Budapest, March 4 (MTI) - A statement was passed on Friday evening by
the participants of a conference organized at the initiative of the World
Federation of Hungarians (WFH). The document - produced by the
representatives of Hungarian organizations in Slovakia, Subcarpathia,
Romania, Vojvodina, Croatia and Slovenia - sets forth the position of the WFH
on preparations to sign the Hungarian-Slovak and Hungarian-Romanian basic
According to the document, a copy of which MTI received on Saturday
afternoon, the basic treaties with Slovakia and Romania are part of the
European Pact on Stability, but they can only fulfill this role if the
tasks and solutions determining the stability of each region are clarified in
The present political environment in Romania and Slovakia is
unfavourable for the joint handling of the tasks regarded as the key issues of
the basic treaties, the statement warns.
The claim that the situation of Hungarian communities living in these
countries be fully settled ranks equal to the guaranteeing of the inviolability
borders, the document points out.
If the Hungarian-Slovak and Hungarian-Romanian basic treaties do not
guarantee that these Hungarian communities may have their own autonomous
system of institutions, the World Federation of Hungarians will not support
Hungary signing them, the statement says.
Vienna Conference - Hungarian FM on OSCE
Vienna, March 4 (MTI) - Hungarian Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs,
Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in
Europe, delivered a lecture on regional organizations at an international
conference on peacekeeping, on Saturday, the last day of the forum.
He covered in detail the 3,5-4,000-strong peacekeeping force to be sent
Kovacs did not deny the difficulties of the mission, i.e. lack of
experience, financial problems, and that it is not known yet how willing OSCE
member states will be to participate.
Solutions to these problems are expected from the United Nations,
Kovacs said. It would be useful if the Security Council gave a mandate - and
with this political support - to the OSCE to carry out the mission.
While this is only a hope, UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali
personally assured Kovacs that the United Nations would share its experience
gained from peacekeeping missions with the OSCE.
During Ghali and Kovacs's talks, the idea of a joint UN-OSCE mission
There is a growing demand for the cooperation of regional
organizations as they are more familiar with local problems and are more
motivated to solve them, Kovacs explained.
As a possibility for cooperation between regional organizations, Kovacs
mentioned that Croatian President Franjo Tudjman said during their talks in
Zagreb: the departure of UN forces could be followed by a joint mission of the
OSCE, the Western European Union and NATO.
Kovacs underlined that this notion was not even a proposal. It should
be studied carefully whether there is any possibility for the cooperation of
these three regional organizations in Croatia, he said.
Bratislava: Talks on Basic Treaty to Continue
Bratislava, March 4 (MTI) - The Hungarian state secretarial delegation
will stay in Bratislava for Sunday continue talks on the Hungarian-Slovak basic
treaty, State Secretary Ferenc Somogyi told MTI on Saturday evening.
Somogyi has been holding talks with his Slovak colleague Jozef Sestak since
The talks originally planned to last for one day, Friday, continued on
The Hungarian delegation went back to Budapest on Friday evening -
for consultation - and on Saturday returned to Bratislava with Csaba Tabajdi,
parliamentary state secretary at the Prime Minister's Office.
The delegations have formed two teams: one to discuss the general text
of the treaty and the other to settle issues related to nationalities.
The method employed is that they separate points on which agreement
they are likely to reach agreement from those which definitely require
Hungarian PM Interviewed by Russian Journalists
Budapest, March 5 (MTI) - When negotiations are over with the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization, a referendum will be held in Hungary so that the
population decide on joining the organization, Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula
Horn said in an interview given to Russian journalists before his official
Moscow beginning on Monday.
Horn's talks with President Boris Yeltsin and Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin will mainly cover economic issues. The Hungarian premier will
present proposals on how to increase Hungarian exports to Russia.
In the course of talks, the ratification documents of the two countries
will be exchanged and several agreements signed.
The sides will pay great attention to such issues as the South Slav cri
and possible developments in Croatia, especially as regards the withdrawal of
the peacekeeping forces, the Government Spokesman's Office and the Press
Department told MTI on Sunday in summing up the interview.
"I believe that Russia should continue to play an important role in the
settling of the South Slav crisis, in the earliest possible conclusion of the
in Bosnia," Horn said.
As regards Hungary planning to join NATO, Horn recalled that in
December, during President Yeltsin's visit to Budapest, this was one of the
main themes of negotiations.
Reflecting to certain Russian objections, it was pointed out at that ti
too that NATO is a defence alliance which had never carried out military
actions endangering the independence of any country.
In the Hungarian prime minister's view, it is very important to take in
consideration Russia's security when it actually comes to Hungary's joining
However, he said he was convinced that Hungary's membership in
NATO is also in the interest of Russia itself, as stability in its
would not weaken but strengthen its security.
At present there are many, old and new tensions between the countries
of the region. Integration into NATO would considerably ease these tensions
or even end them, as it is a precondition of membership that the aspiring
states settle their problems with one another, Horn explained.
In the Hungarian prime minister's opinion, Russia as one of the great
powers of the world must not be left out of the settling of either European or
major international problems, and the alternative should be left open for it
if willing to do so, it may join the Euro-Atlantic security system.
Certainly, Russia should fulfill some requirements beforehand, alike
Hungary, Horn added.
Concerning the crisis in Chechnya, Horn mentioned that he and French
Prime Minister Edouard Balladur recently sent a message to the Russian Prime
Minister, and after a fact-finding mission to the region, Hungary sent another
letter to Russia.
In the spirit of these messages, Horn will repeatedly offer to Russia
during his talks in Moscow that Hungary - as current holder of the
chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe - will
be a mediator in Chechnya.
Horn confirmed that he would urge that the treasures taken from
Hungary during World War II be returned as soon as possible. "I would like to
see that our agreement reached earlier in principle materializes," the
Hungarian prime minister told Russian journalists in an interview given as a
preliminary to his visit to Moscow.
Hungarian-Slovak Basic Treaty - Disappointment
Bratislava, March 5 (MTI) - "We have no special reason to be over-
optimistic because progress has been much slower since Friday morning than
it was actually expected," said Ferenc Somogyi, Hungarian state secretary of
foreign affairs, after a three-day series of talks held on the draft of the
Hungarian-Slovak basic treaty in Bratislava.
His negotiating partner, Jozef Sestak, Slovak state secretary of foreig
affairs, gave a similar assessment of the talks that ended on Sunday.
The political goodwill aiming at the conclusion of the treaty is still
present, both politicians said at a press conference on Sunday.
The positions of the two countries differ most of all on minority issue
There is accord on regarding European documents as standards for the
agreement. However, the sides disagree on whether all the international
documents that Hungary regards as determinants should be used as
standards, or only a selection of these, Somogyi explained.
The talks - in principle - may have been slowed down by two things: the
complexity of the issues, and the absence of actual readiness to make
compromises, Somogyi said. "As for myself, I sincerely hope that the former is
the actual explanation," he added.
On Monday and Tuesday expert-level coordination talks were held, and
after the failure of these Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn agreed in a
telephone conversation with Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar that
negotiations on the draft of the basic treaty be lifted to political level.
Thereby a Hungarian delegation led by Somogyi went to Bratislava on
Although the talks were originally scheduled only for Friday, the
politicians agreed to continue them.
After a consultation back in Hungary, the delegation returned to
Bratislava on Saturday with Csaba Tabajdi, parliamentary state secretary at the
Prime Minister's Office, who is an expert of minority issues.
"The basic treaty must set forth the principles and rights regarding bo
Hungary's Slovak and Slovakia's Hungarian minorities," Tabajdi said at
Sunday's press conference.
"I arrived in Bratislava without illusions because I knew this was the
most delicate, complex issue, the one charged with emotions most of all in the
system of relations of the two countries.
"Progress has fallen short of expectations," Tabajdi said. However, he
said he could see a chance for the conclusion of the treaty by March 20, the
start of the Central European conference on stability in Paris, but in his view
"very intensive" negotiations will be necessary to reach this objective.
As regards the involvement of the legitimate representatives of
minorities, Somogyi said Hungary's position was that, "As the basic treaty in
the making concerns both Slovaks living in Hungary and Hungarians resident
in Slovakia, the Hungarian government - not with the least intention to decline
the responsibility for the handling of the talks and the issue in a broader
- deems it necessary to learn the opinions of these two minorities in the
framework of consultations, and to make a decision when having considered
A tovabbterjesztest a New York-i szekhelyu Magyar Emberi Jogok
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