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Bajnai urges talks with Slovakia

Hungarian Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai has motioned a meeting with his Slovak colleague Robert Fico in an attempt to ease mounting tensions between the two nations, the government spokesperson’s office said in a press release.

The meeting is expected to take place shortly, within the first half of September.

Bajnai said it is crucial not to allow the current situation to escalate, which resulted from the ratification of a controversial language act in Slovakia and Hungarian President László Sólyom being denied entry to the neighboring country on Hungary’s state-founding anniversary on August 20.

The statement quotes Bajnai as saying a set of reconciliatory measures that could be achieved at the premiers’ summit is in the best interests of both countries, since besides easing tensions they will also allow the general focus to be directed back to key economic issues.

Bajnai also expressed hopes that he will be able to convince Fico on reconsidering the Slovakian language act that takes effect on September 1, which is seen as an infringement on ethnic Hungarians’ rights to freely use their native language. (press release)