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National Archives

Public Papers - 1989

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the President's Meeting With Hungarian Minister of State Imre Pozsgay


The President met for approximately 30 minutes today with Hungarian Minister of State Imre Pozsgay, who is here on a brief private visit. They discussed the progress Hungary has made toward multiparty democracy, including the dramatic changes to Hungary's Constitution and the renaming of the country to the Republic of Hungary.

The President restated his commitment to the success of Hungary's democratic reforms, stressing that our support is for the process of change rather than for any particular party or candidate. In that connection, the President noted the arrival in Washington today of nine representatives of various Hungarian opposition groups, who are here for a 2-week USIA program on democratic electoral processes.

The President noted that the administration is urging Congress to act quickly on his request to establish a Hungarian-American Enterprise Fund, create a regional environmental center in Budapest, and authorize the Overseas Private Investment Corporation to operate in Hungary. The President mentioned that in a Rose Garden ceremony on October 26 he signed the documents needed to grant Hungary continuing most-favored-nation treatment and that on November 1 he designated Hungary as beneficiary of the Generalized System of Preferences.

Minister Pozsgay expressed his gratitude for U.S. economic and other assistance and welcomed the President's initiative for developing concerted Western action through the Group of 24 industrialized democracies. He and the President agreed that these efforts are vital to continued economic progress and democratic change in Hungary.

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