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Hungary resumes ambassadorial ties with Netherlands

Following consultations in Estonia between Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte, Hungary will reestablish contacts at ambassadorial level with the Netherlands, broken off in late August when Hungary took umbrage at criticism from the departing Dutch ambassador.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó announced in August that Hungary would recall its own ambassador from the Netherlands for an indefinite period, following strong criticisms voiced by departing Dutch Ambassador Gajus Scheltema in an interview. Among several issues, the ambassador appeared to liken the attitude of the Hungarian government to that of terrorists.

“Here is a group whose members are the losers of globalization, and for this reason they have turned to extremism and fanatical religiosity because it gives them a sense of security. They create enemies by the same principle as the Hungarian government,” Scheltema was quoted as saying in the interview with left-leaning weekly current affairs magazine 168 Óra, published on August 24.

Scheltema also described the Hungarian governmentʼs world view as “classically Marxist,” suggesting that “everything is black and white” in Hungary and that “if someone doesnʼt agree with those in power, they are immediately seen as the enemy.”

In a statement issued last Friday, Szijjártó announced that the Hungarian and Dutch prime ministers met in Tallinn, where “they ended the conflict between the two countries, in fact they like each other and agree on many issues.” He indicated that Orbán has authorized the Hungarian ambassador accredited to the Netherlands to return to The Hague.

Orbán was attending a summit of EU heads of state and government in the capital of Estonia, which hold the current presidency of the Council of the European Union.

"The Netherlands is one of Hungary’s important partners and cooperation between the two countries is effective, but even this excellent relationship cannot allow any parallel to be drawn between the other country and terrorists,” Szijjártó was quoted as saying on official government website kormany.hu. “We are glad that the Dutch government has also recognized this fact,” he added.