WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement after meeting with Speaker Radek Vondráček of the Czech Chamber of Deputies:
“This year marks a major milestone—100 years—in relations between the United States and the Czech Republic. The deep ties between our countries, grounded in common values, are represented in the Václav Havel bust in Freedom Foyer of the U.S. Capitol. It was Havel who said to Congress in 1990, ‘Our freedom, independence and our newborn democracy have been purchased at great cost, and we shall not surrender them.’
“In this spirit of solidarity, it was my honor to welcome Speaker Vondráček to the Capitol, and repay his hospitality of earlier this spring. We continued our dialogue on the critical issues we discussed in March, including the importance of the NATO alliance and regional security cooperation. As I said when I was in Prague, it is more vital than ever for our countries to be united in our commitment to Western ideals and interests.”
NOTE: In March, Speaker Ryan made an official visit to Prague to mark the centennial of U.S.-Czech relations. In an address to the Czech Parliament, he called for solidarity in the defense of freedom and democratic institutions, and stronger economic and defense ties among Western allies.