On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Hungary as you celebrate Saint Stephen’s Day and the founding of the Hungarian state over 1,000 years ago on August 20.
Hungary’s cultural contributions – from the music of Bartók to the poetry of Pet�'fi – have enriched the world for centuries. And a vibrant community of more than 1.5 million Hungarian-Americans continues to strengthen the United States.
As we join in honoring your long history of statehood, we also celebrate 20 years of free elections in Hungary. And we look forward to continuing our work together to advance democracy and human rights through Hungarian initiatives such as the International Center for Democratic Transition and the planned Tom Lantos Institute in Budapest. We are proud to count Hungary as a close friend and key ally in NATO, and we appreciate Hungary’s partnership in Afghanistan as we promote and defend shared interests and values.
On this occasion, I wish all Hungarians a happy national day and look forward to continuing the strong alliance between our countries.