'You are a great ally': Czech PM meets Biden at Oval Office

Both leaders discussed world security and military cooperation, with Prime Minister Petr Fiala saying US-Czech relations were currently the strongest ever.


Written by ČTK Published on 16.04.2024 10:02:00 (updated on 16.04.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czech Prime Minister Peter Fiala met with U.S. President Joe Biden at the Oval Office Monday, with Biden hailing Czechia as a “great ally.” Both leaders spoke about global security relations, centering on the Russia-Ukraine war and current discord in the Middle East. Fiala said that current U.S.-Czech relations were currently the best they have ever been in history.

Backing Ukraine

In discussions with Biden, Fiala emphasized the imperative for deep security cooperation among democratic nations in tackling pressing issues such as Russian aggression in Ukraine and terrorism. 

Biden, in turn, lauded the Czech Republic's support for Ukraine. "Russia is not going to stop in Ukraine, that's why we have to continue to help it, and that's why we thank you for being here today," Biden told Fiala.

 The U.S. president also praised Czechia for its leadership in its drive to source ammunition for Ukraine – Czechia announced recently that, together with several other countries, it found over 1 million shells to give to Ukraine from non-EU states. Biden also referenced Czechia’s purchase of F-35 fighter aircraft from the U.S. to modernize and improve its military.

"We are partners in NATO, and the most important thing is that we share the same democratic values. We have to deal with challenges such as Russian aggression in Ukraine and terrorist attacks and the complex situation in the Middle East," Fiala said. 

Fiala said he considered it symbolic that his visit took place in a year when the Czech Republic commemorated the quarter-century anniversary of its accession to NATO in March 1999. 


Visit to the CIA and a gift for Biden

Beyond the Oval Office, Fiala's engagements extended to the CIA headquarters, where discussions with Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director William Burns underscored mutual concerns about global security. Fiala's historic move to bring the directors of all three Czech secret services to the meeting highlighted a concerted effort to address security challenges collectively.

As a gesture of goodwill, Fiala also presented Biden with a photo commemorating the enduring ties between the two nations, depicting former Czech President Václav Havel alongside former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The photo was taken during Albright’s visit to Prague in 2003.

In an opinion piece published in the Financial Times on Monday, Fiala emphasized the Czech Republic's commitment to aiding Ukraine amid the ongoing conflict with Russia. "We have to get used to the fact that a responsible security policy must include significantly greater investments in defense to deter an attacker," Fiala wrote.

Later today, Fiala is scheduled to meet with Czech expatriates, including Jana Kánská, daughter of the late politician Milada Horáková, who was executed in Communist Czechoslovakia in 1950 after a show trial. In the afternoon, Fiala will address the Hudson Institute and meet members of the U.S. Congress.

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