Slovakian Prime Minister Eduard Heger gave Viktor Orbán a new scarf after his Hungarian counterpart sparked controversy
Heger presented Orbán with the garment at the Visegrad Group (V4) leaders’ summit in Slovakia on Thursday.
The Hungarian Prime Minister was criticized by his European neighbors for advertising “Great Hungary” at a recent football match.
His joke map showed the borders of the former Kingdom of Hungary — lost in the Treaty of Trianon in 1920 — which included modern Austria, Croatia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine.
The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused Orban of “revisionism”, while Kyiv demanded an “official apology” from Budapest.
Slovakia’s foreign minister, Rastislav Kacer, also called the historic scarf “disgusting”.
“I noticed that Viktor Orbán has an old scarf, so I gave him a new one today”, Heger she wrote on Facebookadding that “winter is approaching”.
Orbán also shared a picture of himself wearing the new Slovakian scarf alongside Heger, but did not immediately address the issue.
“Long live Hungarian-Slovak friendship,” he said he wrote on Twitter.
“The V4 Summit is about to start. I expect a great meeting with [Polish Prime Minister] Mateusz Morawiecki, Eduard Heger and [Czech Prime Minister] Petr Fiala.”
Orbán rejected criticism of the joke, claiming that “the Hungarian national football team is the national team of all Hungarians, wherever they live”.
The loss of two-thirds of the territory after the First World War is considered by a large part of Hungarian society as a national tragedy.
Four European countries are expected to discuss foreign policy and sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
The meeting in Košice will be the first in several months after Czech delegates boycotted previous V4 gatherings due to Hungary’s ongoing close ties with Moscow.
Hungary is the only NATO member — apart from Turkey — that has not yet ratified the accession of Finland and Sweden to the military alliance.