2018 marks a special anniversary year for Slovakia, with celebrations commemorating the events of 100, 50, and 25 years ago. On January 19, the Slovak Embassy in Washington, D.C. kicked off the year’s celebrations with a special reception held in the ornate Members’ Room of the Library of Congress on Capitol Hill. The focus of the reception was on Slovakia’s 25th anniversary of independence in 1993 when it split from the former Czechoslovakia, and its remarkable achievements in terms of integration with Europe, transatlantic institutions, and strong bilateral relations with the U.S. under the theme “Together for Freedom and Democracy.”
During the event, Ambassador Peter Kmec led the celebration and spoke of Slovakia’s struggles and achievements on the road to independence. He acknowledged the support of a number of American individuals and organizations, including Friends of Slovakia, the Slovak fraternal organizations, the Slovak League and many others. Co-chairs of the Congressional Slovak Caucus, Rod Blum (R-Iowa) and Peter Visclosky (D-IN), also gave remarks at the event. Additionally, Matthew A. Palmer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, provided remarks on behalf of the U.S. State Department.
The reception also commemorated the events that led to the formation of Czechoslovakia in 1918 following WWI, along with the spirit of freedom and democracy displayed during the ‘Prague Spring’ of 1968.
After the event, Diplomatic Connections (Mar/Apr issue) published an excellent interview with Ambassador Kmec that summarized Slovakia’s achievements in the past 25 years and provided some nice photos of the Capitol Hill event. For more information, please refer to this link and turn to page 14 for the full story.