Hungary irate over Romanian leader's comments about autonomy

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary's foreign minister says provocative comments by Romania's prime minister about autonomy efforts by Szeklers, a group of ethnic Hungarians in Romania, are "totally unacceptable" and "unworthy of the 21st century."

Romanian Prime Minister Mihai Tudose said Wednesday on Realitatea TV that "if the Szekler flag flies on institutions there, they'll all fly next to the flag." In Hungary, Tudose's comments were taken to mean that they should be hanged.

Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said that his ministry had summoned Romania's ambassador Friday morning to express Hungary's position about the statements. Szijjarto said Tudose needed to "settle the situation."

The rights of some 1.2 million ethnic Hungarians in Romania, including about 700,000 Szeklers in eastern Transylvania, has been at the center of political feuds between the two countries for decades.