The Visit of the US Defense Secretary in Prague

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III visited the Czech Republic, September 9, where he met with Czech Minister of Defense Jana Cernochova, Prime Minister Petr Fiala, and President Milos Zeman.

During the meetings, he discussed Czech Republic’s defense modernization work to enhance interoperability with NATO, opportunities for further defense cooperation, and the importance of continuing to provide support to Ukraine.

He began his trip to Prague on Friday with a visit to the Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius, where seven Czechoslovak paratroopers died in June 1942 in a gun battle with German troops after having assassinated high-ranking Nazi Reinhard Heydrich.

The Secretary applauded the Czech Republic for its leadership in Europe and in the NATO Alliance, for ratifying the accession of Finland and Sweden into NATO, and for its extraordinary support to Ukraine as it defends against Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war.

Ms. Černochová described the United States as Czechia’s most important ally. The two countries want to speed up negotiations on a defence cooperation agreement, with the next meeting scheduled to take place in two weeks’ time.

Secretary Austin also met with U.S. Marines at U.S. Embassy Prague and several U.S service members participating in the Czech Republic-led, multi-national exercise Ample Strike 22, and thanked them for their service.

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