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Hungary recalls its Dutch ambassador following diplomatic clash

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-08-25 19:34

BUDAPEST - Budapest has recalled its ambassador in the Hague for consultations, and the diplomatic ties of ambassador level will be suspended between the two countries for an undetermined period, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto said on Friday.

"This is one of the most radical measures in diplomacy," Szijjarto told reporters.

Budapest has recalled its ambassador in the Hague after the outgoing Dutch Ambassador to Hungary Gajus Scheltema harshly criticized the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban in the political opposition weekly 168 ora (168 hours) issued on Thursday.

Gajus Scheltema said in an interview for 168 ora that extremist Islamists "created enemies along the same lines as the Hungarian government."

Szijjarto said that he instructed the temporary Charge d'affaires to firmly reject the reproaches and unfounded allegations made against Hungary as soon as Monday, in the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"The Charge d'affaires shall also seek an explanation as to the backgrounds of the critics, did the ambassador act on its own, or has he been mandated by his superiors?"

"We are not satisfied with an explanation behind closed doors," he added.

On Thursday, Szijjarto stressed that he strongly rejected the ambassador's aim at putting an equation mark between terrorists and the Hungarian government regarding motivation or method.

He also indicated that Gajus Scheltema was no longer welcomed in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. "We are delighted to see him go, the sooner the better," Szijjarto said.

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