Czech Ambassador to the United States Hynek Kmoníček says Mattis will visit other European countries as well, but his schedule has not been finalized just yet. It is expected that Mattis will sit down with PM Andrej Babiš and the Czech Minister of Defense Lubomír Metnar. It’s unclear whether he will also meet with President Zeman.
The main reason for an invitation was the parade as part of the hundredth anniversary celebrations. Originally, we negotiated for Vice-president Mike Pence to attend, however it would collide with the upcoming Congressional elections, said Kmoníček.
According to Lidové noviny, a planned purchase of military equipment for the Czech army may play a part as well. The army plans to spend tens of billions on helicopters, radars, artillery and infantry fighting vehicles. It would be the first Czech ‘made in the US’ purchase since we’ve joined NATO, thus increased activity on the American side is only logical, explained Kmoníček.