Slovakia’s Deputy Prime Minister: U.S. Engagement Critical to Eastern Europe

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Miroslav Lajčák recently visited Washington, New York and Boston for meetings with the U.S. administration and the World Bank. He also spoke at the Atlantic Council and the Harvard University School of Law.

During his visit, Lajčák sat down with Focus Washington’s Chuck Conconi to discuss relations between the U.S., Slovakia and the E.U. In this exclusive Focus Washington interview, Lajčák lays out his vision for the transatlantic relationship and Slovakia’s desire to work with the U.S. on strengthening the Eastern Partnership.  The Deputy Prime Minister stresses “the importance and uniqueness of the relationship” between Slovakia and the United States.

Lajčák noted how Slovakia is trying to offer its unique experience from its successful transition to help further democratic transition in the Western Balkan countries and countries of the Eastern Partnership.

The Deputy Prime Minister noted that next year marks 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and a decade since the enlargement of the European Union.

“They would not have happened without the leadership of the U.S. and it is a good opportunity to remind ourselves of our great partnership,” Lajčák said of the milestone events.

Lajčák said that many Slovakian national priorities overlap with E.U. priorities. He added that the conclusion of negotiations in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the U.S. and E.U. will also help strengthen this important transatlantic relationship.

Lajčák praised the strong U.S.-Slovakia partnership, noting that it is important for the U.S. to support European Union policy efforts. Lajčák sees evidence of the strong relationship between the U.S. and Slovakia in the ISAF mission in Afghanistan, as well as Slovakia’s NATO membership.

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