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Czech Republic/Slovakia: U.S. Says Feud Won't Affect Ties With Prague

Washington, 15 April 1997 (RFE/RL) - The U.S. State Department says the United States does not believe that the feud between the Czech Republic and Slovakia should complicate either U.S. or NATO alliance relations with the Czech government.

State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns told reporters yesterday that the U.S. is aware of the dispute between the Czech Republic and Slovakia, which is upset over remarks Czech President Vaclav Havel made about Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar.

Burns said the U.S. wants to see an improvement in relations between Prague and Bratislava, but he also said the U.S. has separate relations with each country.

Burns described the relationship between the U.S. and the Czech Republic as particularly good. However, he said the U.S. is disappointed that the Slovak Republic has not made the sort of economic and political reforms that had been anticipated when Slovakia split from the Czech Republic and became an independent country in 1993.