U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the former Chair of the Subcommittee on European Affairs, met this afternoon with the Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic Karel Schwarzenberg to discuss the bilateral U.S.-Czech relationship, as well as issues of importance to the state of New Hampshire. Shaheen specifically discussed the case of James Foley and the pending Westinghouse bid to build a nuclear reactor in the Czech Republic.
"I appreciated the opportunity to meet with Czech Foreign Minister Schwarzenberg this afternoon to discuss our bilateral relationship, particularly as it relates to New Hampshire's interests" said Shaheen. "I'm grateful for all the Czech Republic has done to help our efforts to locate James Foley in recent months and am hopeful that our joint efforts result in James safely returning home."
Shaheen thanked the Czech government for its continued support of efforts to locate and secure the safe release of New Hampshire reporter James Foley who remains missing in Syria and is reportedly being held by the Assad regime. Shaheen and her staff have been assisting the Foley family in their ongoing efforts on behalf of the missing journalist. The Czech Republic, who currently serves as the U.S. Protecting Power in Syria, has been instrumental in attempting to raise the profile of the Foley case over the last several months.
Shaheen also pressed the Foreign Minister on the pending Westinghouse bid to build a new state-of-the-art nuclear reactor in the Czech Republic. Shaheen and Schwarzenberg spoke about the bid by U.S.-based Westinghouse Electric Company for the $10 billion project. Westinghouse is one of two firms vying for the final contract to construct the reactor for the Czechs. According to Westinghouse, a winning bid could result in as many as 9,000 new jobs in the U.S., including hundreds of jobs in the Granite State. In the meeting, Shaheen pressed strongly for the Westinghouse bid.
"Westinghouse has submitted an exceptional bid to build a new state-of-the-art nuclear reactor in the Czech Republic and that is a message I relayed directly to the Foreign Minister. This bid could bring many jobs to the Granite State and I'm hopeful that the Czech Republic gives it the thorough consideration it deserves," Shaheen added.