Minister Schwarzenberg in Washington
24.09.2012 / 21:07
First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic Karel Schwarzenberg paid a visit to Washington, DC, on September 20-21. The highlight of his visit was a bilateral meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Minister Schwarzenberg also discussed current issues such as the situation in the Middle East or the US election campaign with experts from several DC based think-tanks and adressed the CEPA US-Central Europe Strategy Forum. Furthermore, he attended a dinner reception at the Czech embassy honoring the Burmese recipients of the NED Democracy Award and a special event at the Motion Picture Association of America that was a part of the Mutual Inspirations Festival 2012 - Milos Forman.
The meeting with Secretary Clinton provided an opportunity to discuss the broad scope of Czech-US relations. The main topic of discussion was the current security situation in Syria and other countries in the Middle East. Secretary Clinton very much appreciated the fact that the Czech Republic currently acts as the protecting power of the United States in Syria. In this perspective, there was an exchange of views on the possiblity of a threat of the use of chemical and biological weapons. Minister Schwarzenberg said that "in that case it will be necessary to act quickly". Secretary Clinton welcomed the readiness of the Czech Republic to provide its experts in this field. She also expressed thanks for the Czech involvement in the efforts of the Alliance in Afghanistan.
The discussion also focused on the issues of democracy promotion and protection of human rights. Secretary Clinton appreciated the longterm active involvement of the Czech Republic in this area and also the personal commitment of Minister Schwarzenberg. The following exchange of views focused on the current situation in Burma, in the light of the just concluded visit of Suu Kyi to Washington and the recent trip of Minister Schwarzenberg to Burma.
According to Minister Schwarzenberg, Burma needs our help. Secretary Clinton agreed with this assesment and asked the Czech Republic to continue its current support for the reform process in the country. At the conclusion of the meeting, Minister Schwarzenberg appreciated the candidness that is typical for their bilateral meetings and called Secretary Clinton a "great Secretary of State".