Press Advisories

28. 10. 2018 11:11

Prime Minister Babiš met with US Secretary of Defense James Mattis, they appreciated mutual alliance and economic cooperation

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš with US Secretary of Defense James Mattis at the Straka Academy, 28 October 2018.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš with US Secretary of Defense James Mattis at the Straka Academy, 28 October 2018.
On Sunday, 28 October 2018 in Straka Academy, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš received US Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis, who visited Prague to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia. The meeting primarily focused on the defence and economic situation of both countries.

Prime Minister Babiš thanked the US Secretary of Defense for accepting the invitation to visit Prague to celebrate the significant anniversary of the Czechoslovak and Czech State.

“The United States played a role in the founding of Czechoslovakia in 1918, because its founders, Masaryk, Beneš and Štefánik, were inspired by American democracy and its deep tradition. We should not forget that the community of Czech and Slovak emigrants in the United States played a big role in the foundation of Czechoslovakia. Until today, our countrymen are helping to strengthen Czech-American relations”, said Prime Minister Babiš.

The talks focused mainly on defence and economic cooperation of both countries. “The Czech Republic supports a strong and lasting transatlantic alliance”, said Prime Minister Babiš, pointing to the Czech Republic’s rising defence spending, which is expected to reach the required two percent of GDP in 2024, and to reinforcing its military presence in foreign operations. The Prime Minister has assured Secretary Mattis that the Czech government under his leadership wants all strategic decisions and acquisitions to be transparent so as to avoid any suspicion of corruption.

“We have increased the number of soldiers in Afghanistan in accordance with NATO’s priorities, and our units continue to assist the Iraqi army. We must appreciate our soldiers fighting in Afghanistan against terrorism because it is the greatest threat for all of us. They should get credit for fighting for our freedom and for democracy in this territory alongside American soldiers. We are also increasing the number of soldiers in Mali with the intention to stabilize the entire Sahel region. We are also part of the NATO outpost in Latvia and Lithuania”, added the Prime Minister.

The Czech Prime Minister also appreciated mutual economic cooperation. “The United States is our most important export market outside of the EU. Many Czech companies invest there”, said Prime Minister Babiš. He added that the US government’s decision to impose duties on imports of aluminium and steel is a certain complication in mutual trade relations. “I have asked the Minister to do his utmost to avoid any trade wars. I think it is important for free trade to be maintained in the world”, said Andrej Babiš.

Babiš and Mattis also spoke about the situation in Syria. Prime Minister Babiš stressed the need for global powers to find a common solution so that Syrians who fled the war can return home as soon as possible.

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