Twenty years ago, Czechia became part of NATO

Today, the Czech Republic officially celebrates 20 years as part of NATO. A ceremonial gathering, attended by V4 presidents and NATO representatives, takes place at Prague Castle.

On the 20th anniversary of NATO membership, the sixth annual"Our safety is not granted" conference is being held in the Spanish Hall of Prague Castle. President Miloš Zeman will be accompanied by top Czech politicians, such as Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, Defense Minister Lubomír Metnar and Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček.

Representatives from the Visegrad countries will also attend the conference. Yesterday, the President´s spokesman Jiří Ovčáček told Czech Radio that the President of Hungary János Áder, President of Poland Andrzej Duda, President of Slovakia Andrej Kiska and Ministers of Defense and Foreign Affairs of the Visegrad Four are attending the state act at Prague Castle. Rose Gottemoeller, Deputy Secretary General of NATO also accepted the Czech President´s invitation.

Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright opened the conference, stressing that NATO is not just a military but also a political alliance based on democratic values. Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček (ČSSD) reminded those present that the Czech Republic is one of the safest countries in the world and highlighted that "our country has never had such strong security guarantees as for when we are in NATO". Defense Minister Lubomír Metnar (ANO) said that NATO membership was crucial for strengthening our external security as much as possible and MP Jana Černochová (ODS) marked the Czech Republic's entry into NATO as the most significant event after 1989, adding on Twitter: “We are NATO!”.

In Hradčany Square, a presentation event of the Army of the Czech Republic and the Castle Guard, and an exhibition of military equipment are taking place today. Visitors can see the Pandur armored vehicle, the Dingo and Iveco light armored vehicles, and a pyrotechnic robot. The “20 Years of the Czech Republic in NATO” exhibition prepared by the Military History Institute also commemorates the anniversary at Hradčany Square.

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