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 Home > News & Policies > June 2006

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

President Bush Meets with Hungarian President Sólyom
Maria Therese Salon
Sandor Palace
Budapest, Hungary

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9:40 A.M. (Local)

PRESIDENT SÓLYOM: (As translated.) 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.

President George W. Bush, Mrs. Laura Bush, Hungarian President Laszlo Solyom and Mrs. Erzsebet Solyom participate in an official arrival ceremony at Sandor Palace in Budapest, Hungary, June 22, 2006. White House photo by Paul Morse 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 nations. This is the foundation of the fact that now we are allies. And this is also a foundation to the fact that after 1956, the United States of America admitted more than 35,000 Hungarian refugees. For that, Mr. President, I wish to extend my sincere thanks.

These are the values that constitute the foundation of our alliance. It also means obligation for us, and it also means that we have suffered 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 such (inaudible) while 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 measure 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 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. Through the course of our discussion, 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 future generations and also to sustainable global growth, and also mention a few words about the visas.

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.


President George W. Bush meets with Hungarian President Laszlo Solyom at Sandor Palace in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, June 22, 2006. Also pictured, from left, are: U.S. Ambassador George Walker; Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Kinga Goncz; and Hungarian Ambassador Andras Simonyi. White House photo by Eric Draper I thank you for your grand hospitality and I, too, look forward to our discussions.

END 9:47 A.M.(Local)