Klaus, Gasparovic: Czech Republic, Slovakia to maintain special relations


President Vaclav Klaus has met his Slovak counterpart Ivan Gasparovic who is on a one day visit to the Czech Republic. The Slovak head of state, who took office last month, is thus fulfilling an unwritten agreement between the Czech Republic and Slovakia in that their presidents always schedule their first visit abroad to the former "sister state". After their meeting the two presidents said that relations between the two countries were exceptional and were to remain so. The Czechoslovak federation broke up in 1993 in what the papers described as "a velvet divorce" and the two countries have maintained above-standard relations ever since. They supported each other in their ambition to join the EU and NATO and they cooperate closely within the Visegrad Group of four Central European states.