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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Passing of Former Foreign Minister Jiri Dienstbier


Press Statement
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
January 11, 2011

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On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I offer my deepest condolences to the people of the Czech Republic as you mourn the death of former Foreign Minister Jiri Dienstbier.

Mr. Dienstbier’s courage and vision were instrumental in the velvet revolution that brought freedom to Czechoslovakia after 41 years of communist rule. He and his German counterpart, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, literally cut the barbed wire of the iron curtain that separated Czechoslovakia and the West during the Cold War. He will be remembered as a talented journalist, a courageous dissident, and a champion for human dignity and freedom.

My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Jirina, and his three children.



PRN: 2011/45

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