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Opening Speech at the EU-US Summit

English Pages, 5. 4. 2009

Excellencies, dear friends, ladies and gentlemen,

Let me welcome you in Prague, in the capital of the Czech Republic, at the meeting of EU Heads of State and Government with President Barack Obama and his delegation.

It is a great honor for us to be hosting this important gathering at the time of our EU Presidency and in the year when we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of communism and the end of the Cold War.

In my country, we are very well aware of the fact that it was to a large extent thanks to the United States of America that we regained our freedom. We also do not forget the important role the US played during the restoration of our independence in 1918 and the bravery of American soldiers who fought and died in the First and the Second World Wars, in wars that originated here, on the European continent. All of this contributes to the traditional sense of trust and friendship we feel towards the United States. It is for this reason we belong among those European countries that keep calling for the need of a firm transatlantic link and a strong alliance between the EU and the US.

I am confident that the spirit of partnership and cooperation will dominate today’s discussions. It is all the more important, if we consider the economic problems that were discussed at the G-20 Summit in London few days ago and the security questions that we talked about at the NATO Summit yesterday. I believe all of us do realize this. 

As a President of a country hosting this Summit, I very much hope you’ll be leaving Prague feeling positive about the future of the transatlantic cooperation. I hope we will succeed in giving it a new impulse and in sending a clear signal to the international community that we are not only able to search for common stances but are also able to find them. In order to successfully deal with the problems we face, we have to deal with them together.

Once again, let me wish this Summit much success. 

Václav Klaus, Opening Reception, EU-US Summit, Congress Palace, Prague, April 5, 2009


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