(WASHINGTON, D.C.) The Central and East European Coalition (“CEEC”) “has provided the support and coordination here in America that has proven invaluable in the historic effort to build a Europe that is truly united . . . .The enlargement of NATO has been a cornerstone of our mutual effort,” said Senator William Roth, Jr. (R-DE) during a Capitol Hill reception on March 24, 1999. At the event, the CEEC — representing 19 national, membership-based organizations including the Hungarian American Coalition (“Coalition”) — honored Roth, Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE) and Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sonny Callahan (R-AL) for their “leadership in this region of the world, as the CEEC believes that peace, stability and democracy throughout Europe serve the national security interests of the United States.”
“Admitting Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic [to NATO] will serve America’s interests, serve Europe’s interests, and contribute toward future peace and prosperity in the region,” stated Biden to the more than 100 attendees.
Both senators played key roles last year in securing the Senate’s approval of the Treaty’s Resolution of Ratification, clearing the way for the three new members to join NATO. Roth is the Chairman of the Senate’s NATO Observer Group and the former president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. Biden is the Co-Chairman of the Senate NATO Observer Group and Vice Chairman of the Senate Delegation to the North Atlantic Assembly. Biden led and floor managed the successful Senate effort to approve expansion of NATO to include Hungary.
Coalition board member, Frank Koszorus, Jr., who spearheaded the organization’s NATO enlargement efforts in Washington, D.C., presented the CEEC’s plaque to Biden.
Several ambassadors and dignitaries attended the reception. The Hungarian guests included Jozsef Toth, Charge d’Affairs ad interim, Gabor Turi, Counsellor, Viktor Szederkenyi, Second Secretary, Denes Tomaj, Deputy State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Laszlo Varkonyi, Head of Department for North and South America.