Central and East European Coalition Meets with White House Officials to Address Crisis in Georgia

September 10, 2008

Washington, DC (JBANC) --- Members of the Central and East European Coalition (CEEC) met on September 9, 2008 at the White House with officials from the National Security Council (NSC) to discuss the situation in Georgia and related regional issues and developments.

The CEEC is comprised of 18 national ethnic organizations in the United States, representing over 20 million Americans. The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC) and its three parent organizations are founding and active members of the CEEC. Each have issued statements condemning the Russian invasion of Georgia. The CEEC also released a similar statement on August 11 following the outbreak of violence there (see:

Marju Rink-Abel, president of the Estonian American National Council, and Karl Altau of JBANC participated at the meeting.

Pictured are:

Front row (left to right): Marju Rink-Abel (Estonian American National Council), Maria Germano (National Security Council), Damon Wilson (Senior Director for European Affairs, National Security Council), Armand Scala (Congress of Romanian Americans).

Top row (left to right): Joel Scanlon (Office of Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs, The White House), Brian McCormack (Office of Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs, The White House), Karl Altau (Joint Baltic American National Committee), Nino Japaridze (Georgian Association), Mamuka Tsereteli (Georgian Association), Eszter Eva Nagy (Hungarian American Coalition), Frank Koszorus (American Hungarian Federation), Adam Sterling (National Security Council), Michael Sawkiw (Ukrainian Congress Committee of America), Stephanie Urban (Lithuanian American Community)

JBANC represents the Estonian American National Council, Inc., the American Latvian Association, Inc. and the Lithuanian American Council, Inc.

Octobr 17, 2008 - President Bush Discusses the Visa Waiver Program
Office of the Press Secretary/ White House News

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. (Applause.) Please be seated, thank you. Welcome to the White House. I'm pleased to stand with the representatives of seven countries -- the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and South Korea -- that have met the requirements to be admitted to the United States Visa Waiver Program. Soon the citizens of these nations will be able to travel to the United States for business or tourism without a visa. I congratulate these close friends and allies on this achievement, and I thank you for joining us here.

I also thank Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of the Homeland -- Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff for working hard to make sure this day has finally arrived. Appreciate other members of the administration here and members of the Diplomatic Corps.

The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc.
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