Czech and Slovak presidents mark centenary of Martin Declaration

The Czech president, Miloš Zeman, and his Slovak counterpart, Andrej Kiska, on Tuesday marked the centenary of the Martin Declaration, under which Slovaks broke away from the Kingdom of Hungary and later unified with the Czech lands as Czechoslovakia.

Speaking at a ceremony in the Slovak town of Martin, Mr. Zeman said that Czechs had been threatened with Germanisation in 1918 and Slovaks with Magyarisation. However, thanks to the Martin Declaration the two people’s had not lost their nationality or language and could develop freely, he said.

Mr. Kiska said the foundation of Czechoslovakia had been complicated and praised the role played by its founders Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and Milan Rastislav Štefánik.