Friday, February 22, 2008

Hungarian Minority in Romania: Recognise Kosova

2008-02-22

Joining others throughout Europe, Hungarians in Romania called on the country to recognise Kosova.

Below is an article originally published by Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BRIN) and reproduced in B92:

Kosovo's unilateral declaration was welcomed by representatives of the Hungarian minority in Romania, BIRN says.

They have also Monday [18 February 2008] called for recognition of the Serbian province.

"Sooner or later Romania will have to recognize Kosovo as a new independent state," [Mr. Bela Marko…], leader of the Democratic Union of the Hungarians in Romania, UDMR, said.

This is at variance with Romania's official position, which is to withhold recognition until Kosovo independence is "declared to be in conformity with international law", the online publication says.

In a related development, leaders of the Szeklers National Council (CNS), an organization of ethnic Hungarians in Romania, on Sunday argued that Kosovo's unilaterally declared independence "signaled European Union support for autonomist movements."

The Romanian press also reported that a group of ethnic Hungarians celebrated Kosovo Albanians' independence declaration Sunday [17 February 2008] night in the northern Romanian city of Cluj.

Rally participants carried posters with slogans such as "Well Done, Kosovo!", "Rights for Minorities", and "Long Live National Autonomy!".

Ethnic Hungarians comprise 6.6 percent of Romania's total population according to official data.

By contrast, representatives of the 30,000 or so ethnic Serbs in Romania echoed officials in Belgrade by expressing opposition to independence for Kosovo and warning that the creation of a new state in the Balkans would raise tensions in the region, BIRN said.

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