Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hungarian President's plane not to get landing permit in Romania

BUDAPEST, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Romanian aviation authorities have withdrawn a permit for Hungarian President Laszlo Solyom's plane to land in Targu Mures, Romania, Hungarian News Agency MTI reported on Friday.

Solyom was planning to visit Transylvania, Romania's western region, which is inhabited by over a million ethnic Hungarians, on March 15, the national day of Hungary.

But after the Romania's decision, the President's Office said that Solyom will visit Transylvania on March 14 to deliver a speech at a commemoration, then return to Hungary on the same day.
The Romanian Foreign Ministry earlier expressed its concern over Solyom's visit to Transylvania. The Hungarian ambassador was summoned to the Romanian Foreign Ministry and was told that Romania was concerned that the visit "would not send a signal that would be in compliance with the strategic partnership between the two countries".

The ambassador responded that it was just the Romanian opposition to the visit that sent a message contradicting the strategic partnership.

The Romanian ambassador was then summoned to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry and was asked about the reason of their concern. It was after this that the Romanian aviation authorities withdrew the landing permit on Friday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Marta Fekszi Horvath said on Friday that Hungary was puzzled by the Romanian decision. Such a decision has been unprecedented in the past years, she said.

However, MTI quoted airport director Stefan Runca as saying that airport authorities at Targu Mures were unaware of the refusal of the landing permit, and were ready to accept the Hungarian president's plane on Sunday.

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