Hungarian American Coalition Joins Supporters of NATO Enlargement

(Washington, DC)  “Although we come here from varied backgrounds, we are like-minded in our commitment to NATO enlargement,” said Col. Casimir Lenard of the Polish American Congress, who chaired a meeting of the Central and East European Coalition and other national organizations that met at the Washington, DC offices of the American Legion on Tuesday, September 30, 1997.

The participants represented diverse Americans, such as veterans, ethnics, and business leaders, who had publicly endorsed NATO enlargement.  They discussed how the growing number of supporters of enlargement and the inclusion of Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic in the Alliance could better inform the general public of the importance of enlargement for the security of the United States and Europe.

In addition to the Hungarian American Coalition, other invitees included:  the American GI Forum; American Jewish Committee; American Latvian Association; American Legion; American Lithuanian Council; Am Vets; Congress of Romanian Americans; Czechoslovak Council of America; Estonian American National Council; Estonian World Council; Jewish War Veterans of the USA; Joint Baltic American National Committee; National Federation of American Hungarians; New Atlantic Initiative; Polish American Congress; Polish Legion of Americans Veterans; Reserve Officers Association; Slovak League of America; US Baltic Foundation; US Committee to Enlarge NATO; US Conference of Mayors; and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Jeremy Rosner, Special Advisor to the President and Secretary of State on NATO Enlargement Ratification, reviewed the status of the ratification process.

At the conclusion of this kick-off meeting of the NATO Enlargement Working Group, a steering committee was appointed to develop concrete steps the participants would take to ensure that the Senate will ratify the accession treaties by an overwhelming majority.  The steering committee held its first meeting on Thursday, October 2, 1997.  Hungarian American Coalition representative Frank Koszorus, Jr., who was selected to chair the meeting, noted that “the existence of the Working Group unequivocally demonstrates that a cross-section of Americans support NATO’s enlargement and recognize that a rejuvenated Alliance serves the security interests of the United States.”  He added that, “it is an honor to be associated with such distinguished and clear-sighted individuals.”

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