Saturday 15 May 2021

Hungary pulls ambassador from Netherlands after criticism

Foreign minister Bert Koenders distanced himself from Dutch ambassador’s criticism

Hungary has pulled its ambassador out of the Netherlands, in response to criticism by the outgoing Dutch ambassador in Hungary.

Gajus Scheltema reportedly criticised Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán’s government in a magazine interview, comparing its rhetoric to that of Islamic terrorists, and sparking the row.

According to the ANP, Hungarian foreign minister Péter Szijjártó announced on Friday that ‘contacts at an ambassadorial level have been suspended indefinitely’, and said Scheltema had overstepped the boundaries of his role.

On Friday, Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders distanced himself from the ambassador’s reported comments.

“Of course, we can in no way say or give the impression that the Hungarian government has the same methods as terrorists,” he told the Dutch press. “That is simply not good and I distance myself from that.”

He said he would be discussing the matter with the Hungarian foreign minister, but did not want it to be a big issue.

He added, though, that the Netherlands does have some criticisms of Hungary which – despite EU agreements – will not accept refugees and has very strict regulations for NGOs. “But this,” added Koenders, “has nothing to do with the methods of ISIS.”

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.