Czech Medals of Merit for Diplomacy awarded to 12 people


Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) on Monday honoured 12 people for their contributions to diplomacy, including nine who worked to ensure a successful transition to democracy after the Velvet Revolution.

Several of the recipients were honoured in memoriam. They included the first post-communist foreign minister, Jiří Dienstbier Sr., who was awarded a posthumous Medal of Merit for Diplomacy, and the late German diplomat Klaus Kinkel, honoured for advancing Czech-German relations.

Medals of Merit for Diplomacy were also handed to former Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09) and former Czech Ambassador to NATO Karel Kovanda, who had been named awardees in March but were not then available to receive them.

Honoured for their post-Velvet Revolution diplomatic work were Slovak actress Magda Vašáryová, who served as Czechoslovak ambassador to Austria, and Jiří Gruša, a long-time ambassador to both Germany and Austria.

In addition, Felix Kolmer and Tomáš Kosta, both survivors of Nazi concentration camps who were involved in the process of reconciliation between Czechs and Germans, were also awarded.