The Czech Republic will in the coming years be showcased at a new location in one of the world's most important cities - New York. As I discovered on a recent trip there, the Czech consulate general and the Czech Center will move from Madison Avenue to the historic Bohemian National Hall on the Upper East Side, which is currently being renovated.
The affects of the war in Iraq on the Czech Republic could be widespread across both the political and economic spectrums. By trying to appease both those who support the war and those who are strictly against it the Czech Republic is hoping to minimise the damage to its image on the international stage.
A few hours after US and British missiles started falling on Iraq, senior Czech ministers and the prime minister met to discuss the latest dramatic developments. After Wednesday's cabinet meeting the Czech Republic's official position concerning an invasion of Iraq still seemed less than clear. With that invasion now a reality, and Czech troops stationed in Kuwait on full alert, the meeting on Thursday morning was a far more practical affair. Radio Prague's David Vaughan was at a press conference immediately after the meeting. David, to start with,
Opinion polls indicate that around seventy per cent of the Czech public opposes the war against Iraq. But, just hours after the American-led attack on Iraq began on Thursday morning, I spoke to Roman Joch, one Czech who is part of the other thirty per cent of the population that supports the war. Mr Joch is a political commentator from the Civic Institute in Prague, and he supports the war because he regards Saddam Hussein as a threat to his own people and the world. Mr Joch cites Saddam's Hussein's oppressive regime, his aggressive wars against
As part of the worldwide protests against a possible war on Iraq, two antiwar protests occurred in Prague on Saturday. One was organised by the student group Initiative Against War and took place on Jan Palach Square, while the other was staged by the Communist Party on Wenceslas Square. Only around 1,500 people participated in these protests, which is relatively low when compared to the turnout for other antiwar demonstrations around the world this weekend.
On Tuesday the United States Congress adopted a resolution in which it paid tribute to the former Czech president Vaclav Havel. This was the result of an initiative led by one American congressman who was honoured to meet Mr Havel at a rock concert in the 1980s - and then wanted to honour the former Czech president in the United States Congress.
The current division within Europe over possible US military intervention against Iraq became more marked on Thursday with the publication of an open letter by eight European leaders showing support for the US. Contrasting Germany and France's growing opposition to the US stance on Iraq, the letter was signed by statesmen including Britain's Tony Blair, Spain's Jose Maria Aznar, and also Czech President Vaclav Havel. They called for 'unity' and 'cohesion' in a post-9/11 world, in the aims of maintaining world security. At stake: the need for Iraq