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U.S. ambassador visits CEUʼs Budapest campus

In what seems like a symbolic move designed to send a strong message, the new U.S. Ambassador David Cornstein visited the Central European University campus less than a week after his arrival in Budapest. CEU is still waiting for the Hungarian government to sign and ratify the agreement that would allow the university to continue its activities in Budapest.

CEU Rector M. Ignatieff (left) greets U.S. ambassador D. Cornstein (photo: Attila Németh, U.S. Embassy Budapest).

"Having fulfilled its obligations under the draft agreement, CEU calls on the Hungarian government to sign the agreement and send it to Parliament for ratification," the CEU said in a statement in October last year. The university has been waiting for the document ever since.

Having being led by a chargé dʼaffairs since January last year, the United States embassy welcomed its new ambassador last week. Upon his arrival, David Cornstein said that he will ask the Hungarian government to reconsider this issue and let CEU continue its work.

On Thursday, Cornstein visited the CEU, accompanied by Deputy Chief of Mission David Kostelancik and embassy staff, toured the new campus and historic buildings and greeted faculty, staff, and students, a statement released by the university says.

The ambassador also met CEU President and Rector Michael Ignatieff, who said after the meeting: "We are delighted to welcome Ambassador Cornstein to CEU during his first week in Budapest, and we are grateful for his interest in and support for CEU, an American institution that has made a significant contribution to U.S.-Hungarian relations over the past 27 years."