Foreign minister says he knew of Canada’s intention to reinstate visas

17-07-2009

The Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kohout has said that he knew at the end of June that Canada was planning to reinstate visa requirements for Czechs, but said that he had expected formal notification before the move went ahead. Speaking on Czech TV on Thursday Mr Kohout explained that Canada’s minister for immigration, Jason Kenney, had warned him of the decision on June 29 during an informal meeting. Mr Kohout also said that he was asked not to make the move public, which he said he could not do in any case before he had received formal notification. Czech officials were informed six hours in advance that Canada would reinstate visas this week. The move was taken by the country in reaction to the high number of asylum applications from the Czech Republic - mostly from members of the Roma community.