News | Press Releases 1996

Hungarian American Coalition Meets with Senator Bob Dole

Representatives of the Central and East European Coalition (CEEC), an organization representing more than 20 million Americans, met with Senator Bob Dole on May 21, 1996 to discuss NATO expansion, foreign assistance to Central and Eastern Europe and related issues. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, Senator John McCain (R-AZ), and senior staffers also attended the one-and-a-half-hour breakfast meeting in the LBJ Room in the Capitol.

Frank Koszorus, Jr. of the Hungarian American Coalition gave the organization’s statement on NATO enlargement. In his statement, Mr. Koszorus noted that NATO expansion is vital to U.S. geopolitical interests in an independent and democratic Central and Eastern Europe. He added that in order to consolidate the gains achieved at the end of the Cold War, the United States must set a concrete timetable for an expanded alliance and implement policies aimed at preserving the independence of the new democratic states of Central and Eastern Europe.

Representatives of the CEEC also called for continued foreign assistance to the region as an essential tool of U.S. foreign policy. They stressed that although organizations such as the members of the CEEC could play a vital role in administering U.S. foreign assistance programs in Central and Eastern Europe in an effective and efficient manner, they have not been utilized properly.

Senator Dole thanked the members of CEEC for their candid remarks and noted his support for the issues raised by the organization. The Senator expressed his belief that “the future of stability in Europe rests largely on our ability to integrate the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe into the West — and into NATO.” He went on to say that “U.S. assistance … and rapid movement on NATO expansion” are critical to the process of reintegration. Senator Dole underscored that “we must not allow Russia … to dictate the course of U.S. policies on aid and NATO expansion.”

Both Ambassador Kirkpatrick and Senator McCain stressed their appreciation of the need to strengthen U.S. security interests and expand NATO. They reiterated Senator Dole’s long-term commitment to an independent Central and Eastern Europe and the continuing role the United States can play in shoring up the new democracies.

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