Hungarian American Coalition Lauds Result of NATO Referendum in Hungary

The Hungarian people’s resounding 85% YES vote on that country’s accession to NATO should be regarded as convincing evidence of the soundness of American policy on the Alliance’s enlargement.

The Hungarian American Coalition (“Coalition”) has supported this policy in the United States and in Hungary since the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Just days preceding the referendum, the Coalition testified in favor of the enlargement of NATO before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and co-sponsored a three-day conference in Budapest and in two major regional cities that discussed relevant issues in favor and against in order to enable the voting population to come to an informed decision.
Since the result of World War II assigned Hungary to the Soviet empire for over four decades, the Hungarian people, when given a chance, have repeatedly demonstrated its true loyalties and political preferences.  Despite Soviet occupation and communist pressure tactics, 57% of Hungarians voted for a moderate center-right party, crushing the communists and their allies in the first post-war elections in 1945.  The 1956 Revolution and freedom-fight itself was a grand national referendum on independence and Western style democracy.  Following the demise of Communism in 1989, Hungarians have held a series of free and fair, local and national elections.
The latest manifestation of Hungary’s indivisible relationship with the West is the overwhelming result of last Sunday’s referendum.  By it, the people of Hungary reconfirmed its firm desire and determination to rejoin the rest of Europe, from which it was torn away by force, and to recommit itself to the Western value system and culture of which it was an integral part for eleven centuries.
Steve Flanagan, Senior Director for East Central Europe at the National Security Council, said in Washington that “the result of the referendum sends a very strong positive message to the U.S. Senate ahead of the ratification debate.”
As noted by Senator Mike DeWine of Ohio, “the strong outcome of this referendum is a clear sign of the powerful public sentiment the Hungarian people have toward becoming part of NATO.  This vote is a positive message to the United States from Hungarian voters expressing their desire to join this peaceful alliance.”

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