Press Advisories

12. 3. 2019 18:09

Prime Minister: Being a NATO member means that we are a reliable partner who respects the principles of freedom and democracy

Oslavy u příležitosti výročí vstupu ČR a zemí V4 do NATO, 12. března 2019
Oslavy u příležitosti výročí vstupu ČR a zemí V4 do NATO, 12. března 2019
On Tuesday, 12 March 2019, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš attended the Prague Castle celebrations to commemorate the accession of the Czech Republic and the Visegrad Group countries to NATO. The attendees saw speeches by the presidents of the V4 and NATO countries. In the evening, the Prime Minister spoke at the gala evening organised to commemorate the enlargement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in the Černín Palace.

Presidents of the Visegrad Group countries, representatives of both chambers of the Parliament of the Czech Republic and representatives of NATO and the USA attended the ceremony commemorating the anniversary of the accession of the Czech Republic and the V4 countries to NATO. The aim of the celebration was not only to remind the importance of NATO, the transatlantic ties and the values on which NATO is built, but also to emphasize the need for Central European Allies to unite and commit to contribute to collective defence. After the end of the event, there was a joint lunch hosted by President Miloš Zeman.           

“The history of the 20th century has shown us that a country of our size cannot defend itself, so it is in our existential interest to be a member of this defence association. But joining NATO meant much more. Being a NATO member means that we are a reliable partner that respects the principles of freedom and democracy NATO membership and the guarantee of collective defence give us a lot, but also represent a commitment. They commit us to respect and contribute to the development of these common values”, said Prime Minister Babiš. The Prime Minister’s full speech can be found on the website of the Office of the Government.

In the evening, the Prime Minister attended a gala evening at the Černín Palace to mark the 20th anniversary of the enlargement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Speeches were also given by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomáš Petříček, former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former NATO Secretary General Lord George Robertson.

“In 1999, we were accepted as one of the first countries of the former Eastern Block. We can be proud of that. What was true at the time of our accession to NATO is still valid today. We are not and cannot be neutral, we are part of the North Atlantic alliance. It is in our interest to have an internally coherent alliance capable of effective action”, said the Prime Minister. The whole speech at the gala evening is available on the website of the Office of the Government.

During the evening, 14 of those who contributed to the Czech Republic’s accession to NATO received a medal for merit in diplomacy. Among them was Madeleine Albright, former Foreign Minister Jan Kavan and former NATO Secretary General Javier Solana.

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