AHF attends Friends of Hungary Conference
5/6/2016 -- AHF attends Friends of Hungary Conference, attends meeting with US Amb. Colleen Bell and submits letter: The Friends of Hungary Foundation held its third conference in Budapest on May 6 -8. Frank Koszorus, Jr., President of the American Hungarian Federation, attended the event along with Federation members and officers, Andras Ludanyi, Gyula Balogh, Zsuzsa Dreisziger, and Katalin Kadar Lynn.
Among other events, they participated in a meeting hosted by United States Ambassador to Hungary Colleen Bell for the American participants to the Foundation’s conference. Mr. Koszorus thanked Ambassador Bell for meeting with the participants and raised three issues:
1) considering that public criticism of Hungary tends to be counter-productive as it alienates the man on the street and undermines US strategic interest in Hungary, what other means can the US use to promote mutually beneficial goals, such as strengthening democracy and democratic institutions?
2) Considering the Hungarian Americans’ (including the Federation’s) in-depth knowledge of Hungary and their support of good bi-lateral relations, what can they do to help further the foregoing goals? And,
3) What progress has been made by Hungary relative to the military reforms that were raised when Mr. Koszorus was part of a fact-finding trip to NATO headquarters, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic sponsored by the US Departments of Defense and State to determine the readiness of the three aspirant NATO members to join the alliance?
Following the productive meeting at which the foregoing and other issues were openly and candidly discussed, the Federation sent a letter to Ambassador Bell seen below or for [download].
May 17, 2016
The Honorable Colleen Bell
Dear Madam Ambassador:
While I am only authorized to speak on behalf of the American Hungarian Federation, I am confident the other participants at the Friends of Hungary Foundation’s conference share my appreciation for your taking time from your busy schedule to meet with us last Monday to discuss the status of U.S./Hungarian relations.
We fully recognize that maintaining and strengthening good bi-lateral relations is not exclusively a function of U.S. policies but is a two-way street that must be vigorously pursued by both countries. As Americans, however, we have understandably focused on our government's policies toward Hungary. We especially appreciate your professionalism and integrity in addressing that relationship as well as your willingness to engage in a candid dialogue about how best to promote mutual U.S./Hungarian strategic interests and democratic reforms and institutions.
Thank you again for meeting with us and considering our views, which we offer in a spirit of respect and constructive dialogue. We look forward to continue working with you in the interest of strengthening U.S./Hungarian relations and the foundations of those relations.
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3/18/2016 -- AHF and PAC address Bill Clinton's Hungary remarks: The Presidents of the American Hungarian Federation and the Polish American Congress issue a joint statement objecting to the collective characterization by former President Bill Clinton of the Hungarian and Polish people as tired of democracy and desirous of “authoritarian dictatorship.” The politically neutral but principled statement, which cites the long struggle of Hungarians and Poles against Soviet tyranny to achieve the civic freedoms they enjoy today, can be viewed in its entirety [read more]
12/3/2015 - American Hungarian Federation has follow-up meeting with Ambassador Colleen Bell... During his stay in Budapest, Mr. Koszorus also met with United States Ambassador Colleen Bell. The purpose of the meeting wasto follow up on AHF’s November 4, 2015 letter to Ambassador Bell in which AHF suggested that U.S. interests – promotion of democracy and human rights, strategic and economic -- may not always be served by public criticisms which are perceived by the man-on-the-street in Hungary, whether a supporter of the government or not, to be demeaning and humiliating. [read more]
12/08/14 - AHF submits letter to Sen. John McCain over his "neo-fascist, dictator" comments: "We agree that Hungary is an important country given the recent, alarming and unacceptable developments in Ukraine and otherwise. We fear that your critical characterization of Hungary last week was unjustified and unbalanced and your labeling its prime minister a neo-fascist dictator was just plain wrong. These gratuitous statements further confused, alienated and angered the Hungarian people. Unless appropriately and timely addressed, this, in turn, will undermine support for the security matters noted above to the detriment of American strategic goals." [read more]
10/22/14 - AHF submits letter to US Asst. Secretary of State Victoria Nuland: "The appearance of selective enforcement and the use of anti-corruption measuresas a “big gun” for political purposes that are unrelated to corruption, coupled with the other issues noted in this letter merely befuddle and alienate the Hungarian people and undermine U.S. goals...Corruption cannot, must not be tolerated. It needs to be eradicated wherever found. If not halted, it will undermine democracy and the free market system. We, therefore, support U.S. anti-corruption initiatives. However, in order to be effective, selective prosecution should be meticulously avoided." [read more]
11/14/14 - AHF meets with National Security Council and State Department Officials - On Friday, November 14, 2014, Frank Koszorus, Jr., President of the American Hungarian Federation, and Paul Kamenar and Imre Nemeth, members of the Federation's International Relations Committee, met with Nathaniel Dean, Director for Central and North European Affairs at the National Security Council, Thomas O. Melia, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, and Ivan Weinstein, Desk Officer for Hungary at the Department of State.
12/17/14 - AHF Meets with Kathy Kavalec, Director, U.S. Department of State, Office of Russian Affairs: On December 17, AHF met with Kathy Kavalec, Director, U.S. Department of State, Office of Russian Affairs, to discuss Russia's policies and activities in Central Europe, including Hungary, and U.S. response thereto. "Our Federation believes that good bilateral relations between the United States and Hungary and a strong and united NATO are in the interest of both countries and necessary to meet the formidable challenges posed by Russia in the region," said the Federation's president Frank Koszorus, Jr. "Winning instead of alienating public opinion is critical to advance these goals," he added.
10/10/14 - AHF submits letter to President Obama: "...although we believe that vigilance is necessary to preclude backsliding when it comes to democracy, we are justifiably puzzled and deeply concerned that you lumped Hungary in with Egypt and some of the worst dictatorships of the world in assessing the state of civil society freedoms. We... respectfully call upon you to retract that part of your statement that unjustifiably places Hungary in the same category with Egypt and other such repressive countries. Doing so would help alleviate the concern, confusion and disbelief found in our community about the United States views of Hungary, a democratic ally. It would also serve to advance the goals of the United States in the region."
3/29/2014 - Amerikában tiltakoznak a budapesti nagykövet kinevezése ellen A diplomáciai poszthoz szükséges minimális tudással sem rendelkeznek - fogalmaz a diplomatákat tömörítő szövetség. "Az Amerikai Magyar Szövetség - az AFSA nyilatkozatától függetlenül - bízik abban, hogy Colleen Bell konkrét intézkedéseket hoz annak érdekében, hogy a pártosság és a kettős mérce megszűnjön Magyarországgal szemben. [tovább]
01/17/2014 - „Problémás” mandátumra számít Budapesten az amerikai nagykövetjelölt [tovabb]
Pártatlanságot kérnek az amerikai magyarok Colleen Bell nagykövettől. „Magyarország elkötelezett szövetségese a NATO-nak és az Egyesült Államoknak, ez a külpolitika a magyar lakosság egyetértésével valósul meg. A magyar közvélemény kiállása sokat jelentett az Egyesült Államok közép-kelet európai politikájában mind a hidegháborúban, mind az azt követő években. Sajnálatosan ez a támogatás vészesen csökken a következő okok miatt" [tovább]
1/17/2014 - Amerikai magyar szervezetek Colleen Bell jelöléséről... Maximilian Teleki, az Amerikai Magyar Koalíció és Koszorús Ferenc, az Amerikai Magyar Szövetség elnöke is üdvözölte csütörtökön Colleen Bell budapesti amerikai nagyköveti jelölését. [tovább]
1/11/2013 - AHF again responds to Senator Ben Cardin, Co-Chair of the US Helsinki Commission. In his December 20, 2012 statement, the Senator was unfairly critical of Hungary. "...we are concerned that (1) your assertions concerning Hungary omit relevant facts; and (2) your statement fails to raise the discrimination and intolerant policies toward ethnic Hungarians in some of the countries bordering Hungary. The statement therefore leaves the impression... of bias, which could result in cynicism toward the Helsinki Commission and its valuable and necessary work."
Amerikai Magyar Szövetség: részrehajlás nélküli megítélést! - MTI [Szeged Ma]
American Hungarian Federation slams “unmerited criticism directed at Hungary” [more]
Magyarország amerikai mikroszkóp alatt: valós aggodalmak vagy elfogult politikai támadás? Az Egyesült Államok legnagyobb magyar emigráns szervezete, az Amerikai Magyar Szövetség közleményt bocsátott ki a Magyarországot ért politikailag motivált, érdemtelen amerikai kritikákra reagálva. Az írás különösen aktuális, hiszen februárban tényfeltáró amerikai kongresszusi delegáció utazik hazánkba. [tovább]
3/5/2012 - AHF has Follow-Up Capitol Hill Meeting on Recent Congressional Trip to Hungary and Slovakia. Prior to the delegation’s trip the Federation submitted background information on Hungary and Slovakia to the CODEL. “At a time when there is considerable misinformation being disseminated about Hungary and so little known about the discrimination against the Hungarian minority in Slovakia, we believe such fact-finding missions are most useful, welcome and greatly appreciated,” said Mr. Koszorus. [read more]
2/17/2012 - AHF briefs top professional staff advisor to Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia on the eve of congressional delegation (CODEL) trip to Hungary and Slovakia. The Federation submitted a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member along with significant background materials on Hungary andSlovakia and called their attention to recent harsh and often politically motivated and unfair criticism of Hungary and the anti-Hungarian attitudes, policies and practices in Slovakia [read more] and join the discussion on Politics.hu!
1/11/2011 - AHF Issues its First Statement on Hungarian Media Law: "A Rush to Judgment: The Reaction to the Hungarian Media Law." It is our "unassailable and firm conviction that freedom of the press is a cornerstone of democracy and liberty." But the unprecedented rush to judgment and vitriolic media coverage of the Hungarian media law seems to have been based on a partial understanding of the law itself and, in some cases, appears to be motivated by bias or political considerations. [Read more]
7/12/2011 -- AHF Reacts to Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Co-Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, who questioned democracy in Hungary and criticized expressions of concern for Hungarian minorities. AHF's letter expressed its steadfast conviction that judgments be "objective, fair, balanced and based on facts and not generalizations and speculation." It also urged the Helsinki Commission not to ignore the Hungarian minorities but to publicly and privately encourage Slovakia and Romania "to build tolerant societies by respecting the rights of their Hungarian and other minorities and the rule of law." [read more]
Levelet írt az egyik szenátornak az Amerikai Magyar Szövetség
Miért támadja Magyarországot az amerikai szenátor?
American-Hungarian federation strike back at US senator over critical comments, by MTI