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Prague — Members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors praised top officials of the Czech Republic, the headquarters of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, for their country’s long-term support for U.S. international broadcasting, a key instrument of U.S. foreign policy.
While in Prague for a board meeting, Dennis Mulhaupt, Michael Meehan and Victor Ashe conferred with Czech President Vaclav Klaus and First Deputy Foreign Minister Jiri Schneider. U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic Norm Eisen, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty President Steven Korn, and IBB Director Richard M. Lobo participated in the discussions.
The Board observed that the Czech government has been a stalwart supporter of RFE/RL, which moved its headquarters to Prague from Munich in 1995 with the help of the late playwright, activist and former Czech President Vaclav Havel.
“The mission of U.S. international broadcasting is as relevant as ever, and Czech support is essential,” said Mulhaupt, the Board’s alternate presiding governor, who chairs the board of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. “We could not imagine more hospitable, dedicated and supportive hosts, and we look forward to an even more rewarding relationship in the future.”
During their meetings, BBG members and the Czech officials discussed ways to engage audiences in countries of strategic importance that are served by RFE/RL, such as Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The governors also expressed their appreciation to the Czech Foreign Ministry for supporting RFE/RL operations in Belarus, and for its willingness to speak out about cases of intimidation and harassment of BBG journalists.
The Foreign Ministry also has enthusiastically supported the Vaclav Havel Journalism Fellowships at RFE/RL, created to honor the legacy of Havel, who passed away in December at 75.
Recently, RFE/RL renewed its long-term commitment to a presence in the Czech Republic by renegotiating a lease agreement with the new owners of the Prague building where it has been headquartered since 2009.
The Broadcasting Board of Governors is an independent federal agency supervising all U.S. government-supported, civilian international broadcasting, whose mission is inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy. BBG broadcasts reach an audience of 187 million in 100 countries. BBG networks include the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Martí).