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National Archives

Public Papers - 1989 - July

Remarks at the Departure Ceremony in Budapest


Thank you, Mr. President. To distinguished leaders -- Mr. Nyers, Mr. Grosz, Mr. Nemeth, and others that came to see us off -- my profound thanks for the warmth of the hospitality to Barbara and me.

I was the first Vice President of the United States to visit your country 6 years ago, but now I'm especially honored to be the first American President to come to this beautiful land. During the past 2 days, we've met with Hungarians from every walk of life. I saw many thousand wet Hungarians turning out there at Kossuth Square, that square a reminder of the sacrifices of Hungary's past. And at Parliament, I met with the political leaders of the present -- leaders who have the courage to call for an historic election. And at Karl Marx University, I saw the hopeful face of Hungary's future and announced a series of American actions to engage my country more deeply in the future. But throughout, at every single event, I felt a deepening of the friendship between the American and Hungarian people.

In just a moment we're going to leave for Paris for an economic summit with Western leaders. And this will be an historic moment for Europe, for the nations of the economic community are moving steadily toward economic integration in 1992. And this should mean more than just a vast trade opportunity for Hungary. As your economy modernizes, you will play an even greater role in the evolution of a new Europe, a Europe that is whole and free.

While in Paris, we shall also celebrate the independence of that nation and the Declaration of the Rights of Man. But these rights are not French, nor are they American. You are proving here in the heartland of Europe that the rights of man are the proper birthright of us all. Thank you for a wonderful visit, for an unforgettably warm welcome. God bless you, and God bless Hungary.

Note: President Bush spoke at 8:45 a.m. at Budapest Airport. In his opening remarks, he referred to Bruno Straub, President of the Presidential Council; Rezso Nyers and Karoly Grosz, Chairman and General Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party, respectively; and Prime Minister Miklos Nemeth. Following his remarks, President Bush traveled to Paris, France.

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