Brief statement by His Majesty King Willem-Alexander with President Zuzana Čaputová during the state visit to Slovakia

Madam President, ladies and gentlemen,

It’s a great pleasure to pay a state visit to the Slovak Republic. This year you are celebrating your 30th anniversary. My wife and I congratulate you and wish you well. 

It’s impressive how Slovakia has developed into a self-assured nation with a unique voice in Europe. The Slovak people are rightly proud of their beautiful country, which has so much to offer.

Over the past thirty years, Slovakia and the Netherlands have grown steadily closer. Our visit underlines the friendship that has evolved between us. A friendship based on mutual trust and on the conviction that we stand stronger together.

Now more than ever, it is important to stand by one another. At a time when international tensions are running high, as free democratic countries we must show that we will never bow to violence and intimidation. 
Together we form a barrier against Russian aggression and support the people of Ukraine, who are enduring such an ordeal.

Those who are critical of others must also have the courage to examine themselves with a critical eye. It’s good to have the chance to learn about your experiences with issues that we struggle with as well. Like violence against journalists and hatred based on sexual orientation. But also disinformation, which is weakening social cohesion. We aren’t avoiding these sensitive topics. 
We understand and share each other’s concerns, and together we’re working on solutions.

Other key topics include the transition to a cleaner economy, climate and biodiversity. Issues that are very important to you, Madam President. We are eager to join forces with Slovakia on the road to a more sustainable future.

We are looking forward to the next few days in Bratislava and our trip to the High Tatras. 
We’re pleased to be able to see that part of the country as well and experience Slovakia’s stunning natural beauty. 

Many thanks, Madam President, for your hospitality and this opportunity to learn more about your wonderful country.