Press Advisories

13. 3. 200915:57

Czech leaders meet NATO Secretary General

PM M.Topolánek, Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs A. Vondra and Foreign Minister K. Schwarzenberg welcomed the Secretary General of the NATO, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.

The Czech PM and the NATO Secretary General agreed that the fact that the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has existed for 60 years and that the Czech Republic has now been a member for 10 years is proof that NATO has fulfilled and continues to fulfil its mission, which is first of all to guarantee the security of its member states.

“We are, however, also faced with new challenges which NATO should be prepared to meet both politically and militarily,” said Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and added that the Alliance must continue to develop and extend its cooperation with other countries, e.g. the non-aligned members of the EU.

In this respect Mirek Topolánek also praised the personal merit of Jaap de Hoop Scheffer for the internal transformation of NATO and presented him with the Karel Kramář commemorative medal. “You have always managed to gather the political support of the member states for the joint operations. I would like to thank you personally for achieving this, because without such support the Alliance could never have been effective,” said the Czech Prime Minister and mentioned how difficult the negotiations in the Czech Chamber of Deputies on the mandate for the Czech forces in Afghanistan had been.

The NATO member states will discuss the global tasks and the further direction of the Alliance at the highest level already on 3 and 4 April in Strasbourg.