Klaus, Gross in Brussels as George Bush attempts to patch up ties with Europe
The president of the United States, George Bush, is in Europe at the moment, on a visit that is being seen as a concerted effort to patch up US-European relations. On Tuesday he was in Brussels for a NATO meeting, which was also attended by the Czech president, Vaclav Klaus, and the Czech prime minister, Stanislav Gross. I spoke to Radio Prague's Gerald Schubert, who is in Brussels, and began by asking him what Mr Klaus and Mr Gross had to say on the issue of US-European relations.
"And the European side expressed quite similar points of view. Vaclav Klaus identified with a statement by the German chancellor, Gerhard Schoder, who said something like a strong Europe is not an opponent but a better partner for the USA."
I understand that Mr Klaus held short talks with both George W Bush and [US Secretary of State] Condoleeza Rice - do you know what they spoke about?
"I guess it was some kind of political small talk - Klaus said that they even asked what's new in the Czech Republic, which was maybe some reference to the political crisis in Prague.
Of course that has been a point of discussion since Mr Klaus was elected - when would he be invited to the United States. But was it a surprise that both Vaclav Klaus and Stanislav Gross were in Brussels? I understood beforehand that only Mr Klaus was going.
"Exactly. We were all a little bit puzzled here about this point; it was kind of a riddle until the last moment - who is actually going to Brussels, and who will take part in which summit. Because there two summits, the NATO summit and a summit of heads of state and government of the European Union. So for most of the people here it was a surprise as well. I'm talking about journalists of course - I don't know how much other politicians were involved in, or knew something about the decision."