Merkel and Macron in Prague for centenary celebrations

26-10-2018 updated

German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Prague in connection with the centenary celebrations on Friday. Her talks with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš focussed on bilateral topics and EU-related issues, primarily migration.

The heads of governments agreed on the need for closer cooperation with African countries in curbing migration. Chancellor Merkel also condemned the murder of Saudi opposition journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying she would push for joint EU action in the matter.

Prime Minister Babiš said it was wrong to create a divide between the Visegrad Group and other EU members. He stressed that the Czech Republic is pro-European and wants the EU to function well.

President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Prague late on Friday, from a visit to neighbouring Slovakia. Following talks with Prime Minister Babiš, the French president congratulated Czechs on their anniversary, saying that France stood by their side today as it had done during the founding of Czechoslovakia 100 years ago.

President Macron also spoke of the need to bolster EU unity, saying the alliance would only be successful if its members stood together. He said the Czech Republic and France agreed on the need to create a common system of European defence. The EU cannot rely on others for its security, Macron said.