BUDAPEST, Hungary – Hungary's prime minister is urging the Hungarian minority in Romania to vote in Sunday's parliamentary election there and "speak up for their own interests."
Prime Minister Viktor Orban spoke Thursday during a visit to western Romania, home to a large Hungarian minority. He says Romania's government is not doing everything it can to help local Hungarians who he says "do not always receive the respect they deserve."
The minority group's rights have long been a contentious issue between the neighboring countries and Orban's government has stepped up the rhetoric recently.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto banned Hungarian diplomats from participating in Romania's national day celebrations on Dec. 1, commemorating the 1918 incorporation into Romania of Transylvania, an area long dominated by Hungary.
Orban met Hungarian minority leaders in Satu Mare, Romania.