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Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Czech Republic's accession to NATO

On 12 March 2019, a gala reception in London´s National Army Museum was held to mark the 20th anniversary of the Czech Republic's accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

The event was jointly organised by the Embassies of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland who also joined NATO on 12 March 1999.

After the national anthems, the three Ambassadors,  Libor Sečka, Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky and Arkady Rzegocki, gave a few words of welcome and some reflection on what NATO means to their country. Ambassador Sečka, among other things,  said: “Our world is changing and NATO is changing with it. But some things remain unchanged: our commitment to one another endures, giving us the strength to overcome our differences and rise to any challenge. I firmly believe, NATO will remain a pillar of stability in an uncertain world for the next generations."

The reception was attended by approximately 200 guests, including the Defence Attachés of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. The British side was represented by Chief of Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter.

Detailed Press Release (PDF, 396 KB)

Video recording from the reception

Briefly on the history of the Czech Republic's membership in NATO:

Immediately after the Czech Republic joined NATO, the Czech Army became involved in the KFOR mission in Kosovo. It has also been active in NATO missions in Afghanistan since May 2002 when the 6th Field Hospital was deployed. The most significant contribution to the common alliance effort dates back to March 2008, when the Provincial Reconstruction Team of the Czech Republic started to develop and revitalise the Afghan province of Logar. The Air Force of the Czech Army regularly participates in NATO missions to protect the airspace of countries that do not have their own air force. The history of the Czech Republic´s membership in NATO was written in indelible letters by the Czech Army General, Petr Pavel. As the first General from the former Eastern Bloc, he served as the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee between 2015 and 2018.

Ambassador Sečka giving his speech

Ambassador Sečka giving his speech

Guests of the reception on 12 March 2019

Guests of the reception on 12 March 2019