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Romania/Hungary: Friendship Treaty Won't Be Renegotiated

Budapest, 27 August 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Ethnic Hungarians from Romania were not able yesterday to convince Hungary's President Gyula Horn to renegotiate a friendship treaty between Hungary and Romania.

After the meeting with Horn, representatives from the delegation representing ethnic Hungarians in Romania said they were disappointed that the treaty does not recognize ethnic-based territorial autonomy and collective rights for ethnic Hungarians in Romania.

Laszlo Tokes, president of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania accused the Hungarian government of being more interested in joining western alliances, like NATO or the EU, than representing the interests of his organization.

Tokes said both Hungary and Romania are under western pressure to sign the treaty. The accord is one of the conditions the two countries must fulfill in order to be considered for membership in NATO and EU.

Hungarian foreign ministry Ferenc Somogyi said this was a case where the expectations of the international community fall in line with Hungarians' best interests.

Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu said he'd like to see the bilateral pact signed next month so that both countries can meet NATO's enlargement timetable.