A visit by Czech President Miloš Zeman to the White House has been postponed, the freshly appointed Czech ambassador to Washington, Hynek Kmoníček, told Czech Television on Tuesday. Mr. Zeman and President Donald Trump spoke by telephone shortly after the latter’s election win and the Czech head of state said Mr. Trump had invited him to visit Washington in April. Mr. Kmoníček said Mr. Trump’s agenda was currently dominated by the “North Korea crisis” and that talks on a visit by Mr. Zeman later in the year were ongoing. President Zeman was one of the few European leaders to publicly support Mr. Trump when he was campaigning for the White House.
The consequences of political developments in Turkey and Ukraine will be at the centre of interest during the Czech Republic’s upcoming chairmanship of the Council of Europe, Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek said following talks with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland in Prague on Friday. He highlighted particularly human rights violations, aid to displaced families and the fate of children caught up in political and military conflicts.The two officials discussed practical issues of the chairmanship and priorities related to the mandate of the organization, i.e. the protection of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The Czech Republic is to preside over the Council of Europe from May until November of this year.
The Czech Republic has joined widespread condemnation of Tuesday’s toxic gas attack in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province that left 100 people dead and 400 injured, many of them children. Speaking at an international conference in aid of Syria, Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaorálek said that if it were confirmed that the Assad regime had used chemical weapons against innocent civilians Prague would consider resolute action, including the possibility of closing its embassy in Damascus.
An Internet petition has been started protesting the Old Bailey, London,
court verdict which set free on April 3 a British man accused of killing a
Czech outside a fast food joint in the East End last year. The petition’s
founder writes that against all evidence the accused was found not guilty
of either murder or manslaughter by a jury. The petition will be sent to
the British Home Secretary when 2,500 signatures were accumulated. It
already had 2,260 mid-morning Wednesday. The case of the deceased Czech,
Zdeněk Makar, has been taken up by Czech foreign minister Lubomír
Zaorálek. He called in the British ambassador to Prague, Jan Thompson, for
an explanation and was due to speak to his British counterpart, Boris
Johnson, on Wednesday.
Zaorálek later said he had sent a diplomatic note to London calling for all details of the trail and asking for information how the verdict could be appealed. After his meeting with Johnson, he also said he had sought assurances that the victim's Czech nationality was not a factor in the killing.
Czech foreign minister Lubomír Zaorálek has warned that Prague will take ‘resolute’ action if it is proved that the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for a chemical weapons attack that killed 100 and injured 400 on Tuesday. Zaorálek said that the withdrawal of Prague’s ambassador in Damascus was one option that could be taken. It is the last EU embassy still operating in the Syrian capital. The foreign minister was speaking in the sidelines of a conference in Brussels over aid to Syria. He added that a United Nations investigation should determine who was responsible for the attack. Both the Syrian government and ally, Russia, have denied responsibility. Their suggestions that the rebels were responsible have been widely dismissed.
The Czech minister of foreign affairs, Lubomír Zaorálek, says he will discuss a court ruling in the UK relating to the death of a Czech citizen with his British counterpart, Boris Johnson, on Wednesday. Earlier he summoned the British ambassador to Prague, Jan Thompson, to discuss the matter. Mr. Zaorálek said he had major doubts regarding the acquittal of a British man who had been accused of beating Czech Zdeněk Makar to death with a bicycle lock in a street attack last September.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with the heads of government of the Czech Republic and Slovakia in Berlin on Monday to mark a quarter of a century since the signing of a milestone treaty on goodneighbourly relations. However the successes of past years were overshadowed by the challenges of the present: the migrant crisis, Brexit and the controversial German road toll.
In the first quarter of 2017, the Czech consulate in Lvov, Ukraine received almost 4,000 applications from Ukrainians looking to work in the Czech Republic, a number three times higher than the entire number of applications one year earlier. Domestic firms have made no secret of their interest in hiring Ukrainian labour, an initiative backed by the government and also the president. But organization has been a different matter: processing applications has been altogether too slow.
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