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Gov't should create frames for dialogue

The Hungarian government should re-establish an appropriate framework for dialogue with ethnic Hungarian minorities in neighbouring countries, Zsolt Németh, chairman of Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, told MTI in Nagyvárad (Oradea), western Romania, on Sunday. An MP of the main opposition Fidesz party, Németh attended the 5th World Meeting of Hungarian Calvinists and addressed a youth rally of the Calvinist Episcopacy of Nagyvárad. Ethnic Hungarians abroad are facing two challenges today, Németh said, referring to resurging nationalism in neighboring countries and the fact that a failed referendum on granting Hungarian citizenship to ethnic kin in December 2004, had still a strong impact on the Hungarian government's approach to nation policy. "The governing parties should acknowledge that their opposition to giving citizenship to ethnic Hungarians was motivated by short-term party interest and policy considerations, and that they manipulated the public during the pre-referendum campaign," he said. The committee chairman called it incomprehensible that the government had not convened the Hungarian Permanent Conference, a co-ordination body for the Hungarian government, parliamentary parties and organisations of ethnic kin abroad, for two years. Operating this forum would enable the government to dissociate itself from the policy pursued so far, and identify future nation policy priorities. (MTI)