The U.S.-Slovak Partnership
August 3, 2012
Slovak Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak's recent meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proves what I have often observed since I arrived in Slovakia two years ago as the U.S. ambassador: the relationship between the United States and Slovakia is maturing, and a major focus of our partnership centers on what we are doing together in the region and the broader world. Both Slovakia and the U.S. have demonstrated enduring commitments to European security and the transatlantic relationship in all its dimensions – diplomatic, military, commercial, and cultural.
I was privileged to attend the meeting – which was not simply a photo opportunity, but a substantive discussion covering an array of topics. Secretary Clinton and Minister Lajcak discussed a wide range of countries with which Slovakia is actively engaged in Europe and further abroad.
The Secretary praised Slovakia’s participation in NATO’s ISAF mission and commitment to continue supporting Afghanistan’s security and development after 2014. The Secretary also commended Slovakia for its active role in the Community of Democracies’ efforts to assist countries such as Tunisia and Moldova. In addition, she expressed appreciation for Slovakia's support for Ukrainian civil society and close attention to Ukraine's upcoming parliamentary elections. The United States and Slovakia have exactly the same goals for these countries and the region - peace, security, stability, and prosperity.
Secretary Clinton was also interested to hear Minister Lajcak's views on the eurozone crisis and the way forward. These difficulties will not be resolved overnight, and details remain to be worked out. But it is encouraging that Europe’s leaders are looking at ways to reduce immediate financial market stresses and to undertake longer-term reform and integration plans to promote growth and responsible fiscal policies.
Minister Lajcak told Secretary Clinton he recognized the critical role the United States played in helping Slovakia develop into a stable democracy by providing aid and supporting EU and NATO membership. Now, in turn, Slovakia is proving an invaluable partner in sharing that experience in South Asia, North Africa, and Europe.