The Hungarian American Coalition today joined other members of the Central and East European Coalition in a meeting at the White House with Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke to discuss the Bosnian Peace Agreement. Also present were Daniel Fried, Special Assistant to the President for Central and East European Affairs, Alexander Vershbow, Special Assistant to the President for European Affairs, Alexis M. Herman, Assistant to the President and Director of Public Liaison, and Marilyn DiGiacobbe, Associate Director for Public Liaison.
The Coalition was represented by Dr. Edward Chaszar and Frank Koszorús Jr. During the meeting Ambassador Holbrookenoted that Hungary’s and other Central European countries’ participation in NATO’s Bosnian peace-keeping mission will have a “profound effect” on their efforts to become members of that alliance.
Mr. Koszorús expressed the Coalition’s support for continued United States involvement in Central Europe. He also noted that the Administration must recognize that the most effective means of defusing tensions and potential disputes in Central Europe is to ensure the rights of national minorities. He urged the Administration to assume a vigorous role in promoting minority rights in the region and halting any manifestations of ethnic cleansing, including the so-called “humanitarian assistance” program whereby Serbian refugees displace ethnic Hungarian residents in Voivodina.
Mr. Holbrooke stated that his office is prepared to investigate any instances of ethnic cleansing that are brought to his attention. Mr. Vershbow added that the Peace Agreement contemplates resettlement of refugees to their homes.