Czech president: Czechoslovakia breakup positive

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July 19, 2012, 5:12 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Associated Press

Nuns look at the photograph showing late Czech president Vaclav Havel together with George W. Bush at an exhibition in Prague Thursday, June 14, 2012. Photographs of Vaclav Havel (1936-2011) taken by CTK reporters, mainly from the time of his presidency, have been displayed in Prague's Old Town Hall since today.
© AP

Associated Press

Associated Press

PRAGUE — Czech President Vaclav Klaus says the smooth separation of Czechoslovakia he helped to orchestrate almost 20 years ago was positive for both the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Klaus, in a letter to former Slovak premier Vladimir Meciar, says although the move was extremely difficult for both of the newborn countries it turned out to be necessary and "helped us all."

The letter was published on Klaus' personal website Thursday.

After nationalists gained power in Slovak national elections in June 1992, Meciar and Klaus agreed to seek ways to divide Czechoslovakia.

At the root of the breakup were differences over political and economic reforms that arose following the end of four decades of communism.

The peaceful split formally took place just a half year later on Jan. 1, 1993. 

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