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Vaclav Havel
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'We, ourselves, primarily must be able to protect our democracy; this is actually the very purpose of our Constitutional system.In any case, with our membership in the Alliance we can be more hopeful that no new occupation of our country will recur and that we cannot be attacked by anyone who might calculate an inertia on the part of the entire Euro-Atlantic democratic world. Had the Alliance been in existence throughout the entire 20th Century, perhaps there might not have been the two World Wars with their millions of dead.'
Czech TV Prima -´Sunday Match' Program, March 1999, Taken From An Interview

"NATO, Europe, and the Security of Democracy" - Selected speeches, articles, and interviews 1990 - 2002

Editor's comment

During his thirteen years as President of the Republic, Václav Havel addressed himself very closely to transatlantic relations. In the period immediately following the fall of the Iron Curtain he headed efforts to abrogate the Warsaw Pact, whose formal end he announced personally in Prague in 1991. He considered the only real guarantee of democracy, civil liberties, the rule of law, security and stability in Europe to be a North Atlantic alliance transformed in line with the new threats of the 21st century. He therefore dedicated great efforts to the extension of NATO to central and eastern Europe. Václav Havel was the first leading representative of a post-Communist country to speak at NATO headquarters in Brussels (in 1991) and sign the Partnership for Peace programme, which was brought to Prague in early 1994 by US President Bill Clinton. He represented the Czech Republic at the NATO summits in Madrid (1997), where the Czechs were invited into membership along with the Poles and Hungarians, in Washington (1999), at which the Czech Republic was first represented as a full member, and in Prague (2002), when he was host of the historic NATO Summit that decided on the transformation of the alliance and its widening to include a further seven east European countries.

Czech website of NATO Summitu 2002 in Prague:

mediabin iDnes of NATO Summit in 2002 (Czech language): NATO summit v Praze