PRAGUE, March 21 (CTK) - U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher believes Radio
Free Europe's broadcasting is still very important for the development of democracy
and the free market in Central and Eastern Europe, he said on a visit to the radio's
headquarters in Prague today.
Czech Foreign Minister Josef Zieleniec, who accompanied Christopher at
his meeting with the radio's employees, stressed the significance Radio
Free Europe had had for Czechoslovakia in the past. He said the Czechs
felt they had a debt towards the Western democracies which they wanted
to repay by having the radio station in Prague.
Radio Free Europe moved here from Munich in 1995, and is housed in the
former Federal Parliament building. The move meant that the station,
whose existence was threatened by U.S. budget cuts, has cut its annual
costs from 220 to 75 million dollars.
Christopher, at the end of his three-day visit to Prague, during which
he met 12 foreign ministers from the region, thanked Zieleniec for
organising the meeting, saying the meetings were becoming a very
valuable tradition. He added that he and Zieleniec had become good friends and colleagues.