Credit: Petr Fiala, via Facebook

Czech PM Fiala Arrives in Washington For Meeting With President Biden

Prime Minister Petr Fiala arrived in Washington shortly before 2am CET today, for a two-day visit. His agenda today includes a meeting with President Joe Biden, with whom he is expected to discuss security cooperation and support for Ukraine.

Fiala also wants to discuss bilateral economic relations and nuclear energy. He is also expected to discuss the latest developments in the Middle East, including an Iranian drone and missile attack on Israel in retaliation for Israel’s bombing two weeks ago of the Iranian embassy in Syria, which killed two senior Iranian military officials.

In Washington, Fiala will also meet members of the Czech community who have been living and working in the US for a long time.

On Tuesday, he is scheduled to speak at the Hudson Institute, a think-tank focused mainly on national security and foreign policy issues. On Tuesday, the Czech Prime Minister will also hold talks in Congress with the Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson and other House and Senate leaders. He intends to talk in particular about the $95 billion US foreign aid package to support Israel and Ukraine, the approval of which has been delayed for several months by US domestic political disputes. The proposal has passed the Senate, but the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives has so far blocked it.

Before his departure from the Czech Republic on Sunday, Fiala said that he intends to address the topic of further support for Ukraine in any talks he has with US officials. “The United States must continue its support, and only in this way are we able to help Ukraine enough to be able to defend itself against the huge Russian superiority, which is in all of our interests. I will try to convince our American friends that this help and support is absolutely necessary,” Fiala said.

Before leaving the US on Tuesday, Fiala will pay tribute to former Czech and Czechoslovak presidents Vaclav Havel and Tomas Garrigue Masaryk. Havel has a bust in Congress and Masaryk has a statue in the diplomatic quarter. The prime minister is also expected to meet major Czech investors in the US market. He will then head from Washington to Brussels in the early hours of Wednesday morning for an emergency EU summit.

Fiala said the visit was proof of the excellent bilateral relations between the Czech Republic and the US, and described it as symbolic that it is taking place in a year when the Czech Republic commemorates a quarter of a century since joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), celebrated in Prague in March in the presence of former US President Bill Clinton. The reception of the Czech prime minister at the White House will be the first since March 2019, when Czech prime minister Andrej Babis held talks there.

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