President János Áder’s (pictured) plans to travel to Poland on March 23 have been canceled, reports Azonnali.
The Hungarian head of state was going to travel to the town of Bochnia, southern Poland, for Polish-Hungarian Friendship Day to unveil a statue of St. Kinga, daughter of Hungarian King Béla IV, together with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda and their respective wives, Anita Herczegh and Agata Kornhauser-Duda.
The news site has learned that not only have the organizers canceled the event, but also that the Poles had not received an official request from the Office of the President of Hungary (KEH) to allow János Áder’s armed bodyguards to cross the Polish border, suggesting that Áder and his wife won’t even be going to Poland.
Azonnali contacted the Office of the President of Hungary on the matter, but has not received a reply.
However, sources informed Azonnali that the event was officially “postponed” due to the war, with one of the main reasons that Andrzej Duda did not want to appear publicly with his Hungarian colleague at such a high-profile event because of Hungary’s pro-Russian stance.
In 2007, the Hungarian Parliament and the Polish Sejm both declared March 23 the Day of Polish-Hungarian Friendship. Since then, both countries have observed the day, with KEH describing it in the following way:
Celebrated in both countries, the two nations celebrate their close thousand-year relationship, unparalleled in many respects, with large-scale events attended by the heads of state in different places every year.
While personal meetings were canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, a virtual commemoration was held in 2021 by János Áder and Andrzej Duda, as well as by Anita Herczegh and Agata Kornhauser-Duda.
Even the local news portal Bochnianin.pl has an article dated February 22, prior to the outbreak of the war, on planned “large-scale celebrations” and the unveiling of the statue of St. Kinga with the expected attendance of the two presidential couples. [Azonnali]