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Notes for the Independence Day Speech 2006

English Pages, 29. 6. 2006

Mr. Ambassador, Ladies and Gentlemen, dear American friends,

I am pleased and honored to be here and to have – once again – an opportunity to celebrate the Independence Day of the United States of America with you and in this beautiful garden. Mr. Ambassador, I was here for the first time already in 1968, six weeks before the collapse of our dreams to be again a free country. As we all know, the Warsaw Pact invasion made the fulfillment of these dreams impossible.

When we gathered here four years ago, it was just after our parliamentary elections. It is very similar now. As in the year 2002, this year’s elections turned out to be an elementary contest between the left of centre and right of centre political parties, as it is – and should be – in all standard democracies in the world. The results of the elections produced a very rare outcome but I am hopeful that the negotiations leading to a reasonable political solution will be successfully completed and that it will be done in the forseeable future. It seems to me that the citizens of our country wish for a change, or to put it differently, that they do not wish for the mere continuation of the developments of the last couple of years.

There is, however, something, Mr Ambassador, the recent parliamentary elections did not change. There is something that rightfully remains constant and firmly entrenched among the Czech foreign policy priorities. The constant I have in mind is our commitment to the transatlantic cooperation.

The Czech Republic is an active ally of the United States of America. It participates in the Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. It contributes to building the security sector in Iraq. It is engaged in Kosovo and in the NATO’s International Security Assistance Force. We do it because we are – in the world of today – still confronted with serious security threats and because we are convinced it is vital that we continue to be involved in resisting them together with our American allies.

I would like to use this opportunity, Mr Ambassador, to assure you that I highly value the friendship between our two countries and that I highly value your personal contribution to making this friendship stronger.

I wish the American people a lot of success, prosperity and peace. Thank you for inviting me and all of us to be here with you on this special day.

Václav Klaus, 230th Independence Day of the United States of America, June 29, 2006


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