George W. Bush photo

Remarks Following Discussions With Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany of Hungary in Budapest

June 22, 2006

Prime Minister Gyurcsany. First of all, I'd like to thank from the depth of my heart to the President of the United States for his visit today to Hungary, on the 50th anniversary of the '56 Revolution. We consider this visit to be a tribute to be a point to perseverance of the Hungarian people for freedom.

We also see this as a confirmation of our joint effort that freedom and democracy must not only be preserved but also spread around the world in every region and every country, wherever necessary. Now this work that we started must not and cannot be completed, but it must be continued, because the world is the way how you shape it.

The alliance of the United States and Hungary is based on values and interests at the same time. There are no major unsolved or painful issues, open issues in the relations of our two countries. There are challenges, and there are tasks to be solved, but that's just the way how it is.

As a European country, I believe that we should finally end with preconception that Europe represents morality and the United States represents efficiency. And if we are democrats, then we believe that morale and power must go hand in hand. And we are democrats on both sides of the Atlantic. Now, in terms of practical matters, of course, we just cannot avoid talking about the visa issue whenever we meet. We are well aware of each other's standpoints. We cannot pose much surprises to each other. But because we know that this is a long road, this is a long path that we must go down, so we must look for other areas where we can be more successful.

However, an important step on this road is that within a couple of months, finally, the building, the Tancsics was captured was kept—the building known as the Tancsics prison will return to Hungarian ownership. Let me tell you quite frankly that the President showed much more understanding for the importance and the meaning of this issue. And just within this circle, I can say that he promised, and if he did that, it will happen.

So, by and large, this is what we talked about.

President Bush. Mr. Prime Minister, thank you. I'm honored to be here. As I recall, this trip started back when you invited me to come when you were visiting the Oval Office. I thank you for the invitation. I'm proud to be here. I'm impressed by the beauty of this city. I'm honored to be able to speak to the people of Hungary tonight when I talk about the unbelievable thirst for freedom that was exhibited in 1956. And that spirit of freedom still exists in the world today. And I thank you for your troops who are working through NATO to help Iraq and the PRT that we're working on for Afghanistan. And thank you for your commitment to help others be free.

It is also my pleasure to congratulate you on being reelected. It's not easy to win a second opportunity to serve, but you have done so. And I appreciate the courage you're showing not only in foreign policy but in domestic policy. We have a very good relationship, which means the Prime Minister is comfortable in bringing up the visa issue. Look, I understand this is a difficult issue, and we have developed a road-map to work through this issue, so the people of your good country will understand that you're doing your best and I'm doing my best to meet U.S. laws, and you're doing your best to represent the people of Hungary to get this issue solved.

And so thank you for bringing up a lot of issues, and thank you for your leadership. And we are very proud of our friendship and alliance with Hungary. Thanks for the invitation.

Prime Minister Gyurcsany. Thank you, Mr. President.

NOTE: The President spoke at approximately 11:40 a.m. in the Parliament Building. Prime Minister Gyurcsany spoke in Hungarian, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

George W. Bush, Remarks Following Discussions With Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany of Hungary in Budapest Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under





Simple Search of Our Archives