|Sunday, September 18th 2011 and Monday September 19, 2011 saw the presidents of Hungary Pal Schmitt and of Croatia Ivo Josipovic (left) meet with members of their communities in the United States in Cleveland and New York respectively. Their visits displayed a remarkable divergence with regards to relationships with their diaspora communities. Maybe Croatia can learn from Hungary in strengthening relations with Croatian communities scattered around the world?|
| President Ivo Josipovic meeting with members of the Croatian community in New York City |
President Pal Schmitt affirmed Hungary’s commitment to all Hungarians, wherever they live, speaking in Cleveland on Sunday.
“We will not forgo any Hungarian. As it was declared in the National Avowal of our new Constitution: we promise to preserve the intellectual and spiritual unity of our nation torn apart in the storms of the last century,” Schmitt said at a luncheon the local Hungarian Heritage Society gave in his honour.
| Hungarian President Pal Schmitt |
He noted that the first law Hungary’s new parliament passed had introduced a fast-track procedure for granting Hungarian citizenship to ethnic Hungarians living abroad. He encouraged those present to take advantage of the opportunity and expressed thanks to those who had already assumed Hungarian citizenship.
The president presented high state honours to three prominent representatives of American Hungarians in recognition of their merits in organising the community and fostering ties with Hungary.
Schmitt is the first Hungarian president to visit Cleveland, a city with 100,000 residents who declared themselves of Hungarian origin in the latest census.
The president laid a wreath on the statue of prominent 19th-century Hungarian statesman Lajos Kossuth.
Following the Cleveland visit, Schmitt will take part in conferences held under the auspices of the United Nations, and address the General Assembly session on Friday.
Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi will arrive in New York early next week.Source: http://www.politics.hu/20110918/president-schmitt-says-hungary-wont-forgo-any-hungarian-encourages-us-hungarians-to-assume-citizenship