George W. Bush photo

Remarks at a Welcoming Ceremony in Budapest, Hungary

June 22, 2006

President Laszlo Solyom of Hungary. Mr. President, may I welcome you to Sandor Palace. Thank you very much for coming to Budapest to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and freedom fight.

Mr. President, your visit is a rarity and signifying prelude to the celebration later this year, which will be attended by more than 50 heads of state and government here in Budapest.

Your visit today here in Hungary underlines the importance of 1956, how important it was from the point of view of global history. At the same time, it also highlights the importance of those values for which the Hungarians and Hungary fought in 1956. These are freedom, liberty, democracy, human rights, and national self-determination.

And both the United States of America and Hungary belong to the same community of common values. This is the foundation of the fact that now we are allies. And this is also—gave a foundation to the fact that after crushing 1956, the United States of America admitted more than 35,000 Hungarian refugees. For that, Mr. President, I wish to express my sincere thanks.

These values constitute the foundation of our alliance. It also means obligation for us, and it also means that we have got to represent that in an authentic way. And that was also the secret to Hungary's successful process of democratization and the fact that even under the extraordinary international circumstances made no—[inaudible]—and insisted on observing the Constitution and the law.

It is my firm belief that our common responsibilities, duty now is to fight terrorism. This fight against terrorism can be successful only if every step and measures taken are in line with international law. That is why it is my special pleasure to welcome the Vienna declaration.

We are aware of the fact and the various help and of the system that the United States of America contributed and helped this country and the countries of this region, that democracy should be able to take root.

There are many examples, many of these examples are not even known to the general public. In the course of our discussions, Mr. President, I would like to give you a couple of examples for that and also would like to speak about our common responsibility for the future generation and also sustainable global growth and also mention a few words about the visa.

Thank you very much.

President Bush. Listen, I'm thrilled to be here, Mr. President. Thank you for your hospitality, and thank you for your personal contribution to your country's democracy.

I am here to celebrate the 1956 Revolution, the idea of a revolution that celebrated the notion that all men and women should be free. I'm also here to confirm the friendship between Hungary and the United States.

I bring greetings from thousands of Hungarian Americans who are very proud of their homeland and their heritage. I also bring greetings from a nation that admires your courage and your desire to continue to do the hard work necessary for democracy to take hold.

I thank you for your grand hospitality, and I too look forward to our discussions.

NOTE: The President spoke at approximately 9:40 a.m. in the Maria Therese Salon at Sandor Palace. President Solyom spoke in Hungarian, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

George W. Bush, Remarks at a Welcoming Ceremony in Budapest, Hungary Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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