Wednesday, September 16, 1998


The progress our nations are making as friends is possible only because of the courage of Vaclav Havel and the Czech people, who are fulfilling their dreams and inspiring the world. We will continue to work hard together, so everyone can reap the full benefits of our hard-fought freedoms.

President Bill Clinton
September 16, 1998

Today, President Clinton welcomes Vaclav Havel, President of the Czech Republic, to the White House for an official state visit. The two leaders will discuss ways in which our two nations can advance the cause of peace and freedom throughout the world.

President Clinton Applauds President Havel's Courage And Leadership. President Clinton is pleased to welcome President Havel, a world leader who embodies the spirit of freedom and courage to stand up to oppression. President Havel was a celebrated young playwright and democratic activist during the Cold War, leading the Charter 77 human rights movement and the "Velvet Revolution," which led to the end of Communist rule in Czechoslovakia. After more than a decade of harassment, interrogation and incarceration, President Havel emerged to lead his country in a peaceful transition into a democratic state based on free markets and human rights.

Working Together To Strengthen U.S.-Czech Relations. President Clinton has worked with President Havel and the leaders of the Czech Republic to forge a partnership based on a shared commitment to democracy and human rights:

Leading The Fight For Democracy And Human Rights Around The World. The values which President Havel embodies are similar to the values that President Clinton has sought to promote throughout the world -- human rights and a commitment to democracy. These values are cornerstones of the President's foreign policy agenda. The President has led efforts to:

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