President Bush Announces Hungary's Inclusion in the Visa Waiver Program
10/17/2008 - The American Hungarian Federation Participates in White House Ceremony on Hungary’s Inclusion in the Visa Waiver Program. “I’m pleased to stand with the representatives of seven countries – the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and South Korea – that have met the requirements to be admitted to the United States Visa Waiver Program,” said President Bush at the October 17, 2008 White House Rose Garden ceremony. “I’m grateful to all the countries here for seeking to strengthen the ties between our citizens. I look forward to even stronger partnerships in the years ahead,” concluded the President. Read Transcript of the President’s remarks. (PDF version)
The American Hungarian Federation’s (the “Federation”) co-president, Frank Koszorus, Jr. and board member Atilla Kocsis attended the ceremony. “The Hungarian American community is delighted that Hungary is at long last included in the VWP,” said Mr. Koszorus. “It’s an important way of shoring up the friendship of our allies toward the United States,” added Mr. Kocsis.
Various Hungarian American organizations and individuals spoke up in favor of Hungary’s admission to the Visa Waiver Program (“VWP”) over the years. For example, the Magyar Lobbi responded to Bela Liptak’s action alert to contact the Congress in support of VWP legislation. Other organizations issued press releases regarding their activities. And individuals such as Eugene Megyesy, Esq., raised the issue with U.S. Ambassadors to Hungary.
The Federation publicly and privately urged inclusion of Hungary in the VWP. For instance, as a panelist at a Hudson Institute event, Mr. Koszorus referred to the need to satisfactorily address and resolve visa waiver; the Federation issued an action alert when legislation was pending; The Washington Times published the Federation’s letter to the editor; and the Federation asked foreign policy advisors from several presidential candidates about VWP during a town hall meeting, which event was broadcast on WAMU 88.5. Read the Federation’s statements.
“The interest and strong support for VWP within the Hungarian American community was wonderful. Unlike the joint effort relating to the enlargement of NATO to include Hungary, the various groups and individuals acted on their own in this instance. The Federation, which strives to unite the community through work that supports common goals, is committed to support greater coordination of individual efforts the next time an issue of the magnitude of VWP is in play,” noted the Federation’s representatives.
American Hungarian Federation’s Public Statements Regarding Visa Waiver
Remarks of Frank Koszorus Jr. at the Hudson Institute’s Panel Discussion, “The Enduring Strains of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe”
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