9/11 Attacks Ruined Late Czech President Havel's Bulgarian Visit

Politics » DIPLOMACY | December 18, 2011, Sunday // 14:57

Late Czech dissident and President Vaclav Havel never visited Bulgaria officially as President of the Czech Republic as he canceled his trip because of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the USA.

Havel, who passed away Sunday, at the age of 75, was the last President of the former Czechoslovakia in 1989-1992, and the first President of the Czech Republic in 1993-2003, after he rose to worldwide fame as anti-communist dissident playwright in the 1960s and 1970s.

Havel visited Bulgaria back in 1992 as President of Czechoslovakia, after receiving Bulgaria's first democratically elected President and fellow dissident Zhelyu Zhelev in Prague in 1991. Bulgarian President Petar Stoyanov, Zhelev's successor, also visited Prague during Havel's term in 1997.

Havel was supposed to visit Bulgaria as President of the Czech Republic on September 14, 2001.

However, his visit was canceled in the aftermath of the September 11 Al Qaeda terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, DC, as September 14, 2011, was a day of mourning for the 9/11 victims in both Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.

Subsequently, Havel's intended visit to Bulgaria as Czech Republic President never materialized while he was still in office till 2003.

Late Czech President Vaclav Havel, a key dissident in communist Eastern Europe, deemed Bulgaria to be important for the European Union, and was an outspoken proponent of Bulgaria's accession to the EU and NATO during his Presidency term.

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Tags: anti-communism, communism, Charter 77, Vaclav Havel, Czech Republic, Czechoslovakia, dissident, communist, Eastern Europe, Warsaw Pact, Prague Spring, 1968, Czech President, 1991, 1992, Zhelyu Zhelev, Bulgarian President, Ivan Kostov, EU, European Union, NATO, Petar Stoyanov, 9/11, september 11, terrorist attacks, USA, Al Qaeda, 2001
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