James Mattis welcomes Czech defense minister

Secretary of Defense James Mattis talked with his Czech counterpart about world issues affecting both parties.

He praised Czech Defense Minister Martin Stropnicky for his work and his country’s stance regarding issues on the world stage.

Mattis stressed the NATO alliance was key to the two countries’ cooperation. “We do face a new reality with the Russian provocation, with the terrorist threat from the South, and NATO is banding together on this and certainly we look forward to standing strong with our bedrock alliance all the way through on this fight and I would just say too that your involvement with the defeat ISIS campaign is heartening, it shows that you stand with the civilized nations of the world, your ground troops in the Baltic and your air policing. You’re a full-fledged member of NATO as are we. And on that common ground we welcome you here.”

Besides politics, Mattis also commented on his appreciation for a Czech-made product.

“Thank you again, and before the press leaves I must note that you make the finest beer I have ever tasted,” he said.

Stropnicky also stressed that the NATO alliance is crucial, especially as the Czech Republic continues to evolve into a thriving democratic nation from its collapse as a communist-ruled country in 1989.