President Truong Tan Sang met with Czech professors and experts who have greatly supported Vietnam’s struggle for independence and national development on May 12 as part of his visit to the European country.

Among the participants, 80-year-old expert on Vietnamese studies Ivo Vasiljev interpreted for President Ho Chi Minh when a Czechoslovakian delegation visited Vietnam in 1966. He was also the first Czech to translate the late leader’s Nhat ky trong tu (Prison Diary) into the Czech language. Vasiljev also acted as an interpreter during the recent press conference co-hosted by President Truong Tan Sang and his Czech counterpart.

Vladimir Nechyba, 95, was the Deputy Head of a geological expert delegation assisting Vietnam to conduct geological surveys in northern Bac Kan and Thai Nguyen provinces from 1958 to 1962.

Participants also included Chairman of the Czech Republic-Vietnam Friendship Association Marcel Winter, and Jovan Dezort – a former Hanoi-based reporter of the Czechoslovakia News Agency from 1968 – 1972 who wrote a number of articles advocating for Vietnam.

Meeting with President Truong Tan Sang, some Czech attendees said they consider Vietnam their second home having devoted significant time and effort to the country’s development and protection.

They will continue contributing to the two nations’ friendship and mutual understanding among the younger generations, they stressed.

The Vietnamese leader said his country appreciates the assistance from Czech experts, describing facilities built with Czechoslovakian aid such as the Vietnam-Czechoslovakia Friendship Hospital, the Hanoi Children’s Palace, and the Vietnam-Czechoslovakia Lock Factory as vivid evidence of the countries’ close-knit ties.

He also voiced his hope for further support from the Czech experts to the development of bilateral relations.-VNA