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 Home > News & Policies > June 2006

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 22, 2006

President Bush Meets with Prime Minister Gyurcsány in Budapest, Hungary
Parliament Building
Budapest, Hungary

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11:40 A.M. (Local)

PRIME MINISTER GYURCSÁNY: (As translated.) 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 the point to perseverance of the Hungarian people for freedom.

Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany and his wife Dr. Klara Dobrev welcome President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush to the Hungarian Parliament building in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, June 22, 2006. White House photo by Eric Draper 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 world 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 spreading from 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 now it is.

As a European country, I believe that we should finally end this 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 in 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 that T ncsics was captured was kept -- the building known as the T ncsics 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 to 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.

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 roadmap 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 be able to help the country -- to get this issue settled.


President George W. Bush meets with Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany at the Hungarian Parliament building in Budapest, Hungary, June 22, 2006.  White House photo by Eric Draper 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.

PRIME MINISTER GYURCSÁNY: Thank you, Mr. President.

END 11:48 A.M. (Local)