Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek has ruffled Chinese feathers, having been snapped wearing a Tibetan flag badge. Mr Topolánek wore the pin at a news conference two weeks ago, when he announced that he would be attending this summer’s Olympic Games in Beijing, but not the opening ceremony. The Chinese authorities have lodged a complaint about the gesture, and summoned the Czech ambassador to Beijing for talks.
The future of the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty was the main issue on the agenda when Czech President Václav Klaus played host to his Polish counterpart Lech Kaczynski on Thursday. The media speculation was that the Polish president was on a mission to persuade the euro-sceptic Mr Klaus to tone down his marked opposition to Lisbon. If that was the case, it was mission unaccomplished.
Czechs travelling to Canada can continue to do so without a visa. During a visit in Prague on Thursday, the Canadian Minister for Citizenship and Immigration Diane Finley said that for the time being her country was not planning to reintroduce visa restrictions for Czechs. She added, however, that the Czech Republic and Canada must work together in an attempt to lower the number of Czechs seeking asylum in Canada.
The Czech Republic and the United States signed an agreement Tuesday on the positioning of a US radar base on Czech territory as part of an American anti-missile defence shield in Europe. Embraced by the country’s government, the treaty has been criticised by the opposition, Czech anti-radar activists as well as leaders in Moscow.
Shortly before 3 pm this Tuesday the Czech Republic and the United States signed a treaty in Prague on the stationing of a US radar base on Czech soil: part of US plans for a broader missile defence shield in Europe. The US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice together with Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg signed the agreement at Černín Palace – the Foreign Ministry in the Czech capital. Our reporter Jan Richter was at the scene and joined us in the minutes following the signing.
Prague and Washington are due to sign a treaty on the deployment of a missile defence radar on Czech soil on Tuesday, despite continued opposition from Russia. The Russian ambassador to Prague Alexei Fedotov told Czech TV on Sunday that his country would only be satisfied by a permanent presence of Russian inspectors at the base, an idea that the Czech government has repeatedly rejected.
The Russian ambassador to Prague Alexei Fedotov told Czech TV on Sunday
that his country will make “adequate steps to ensure its own security”
following the signing of a Czech-U.S. radar base treaty. Russia’s
position will be specified by a Russian Defence Ministry representative at
an anti-missile defence conference to be held in Prague next week. Mr
Fedotov said Moscow would appreciate permanent presence of Russian
inspectors at the planned base, an idea the Czech government rejected in
The Czech-American treaty on positioning a U.S. tracking radar base in the Czech Republic will be signed in Prague on Tuesday by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg. The base should be a part of a planned U.S. anti-missile defence shield in Europe.
France took up the rotating EU presidency on Tuesday amidst increasing concerns over the fate of the Lisbon Treaty. Polish President Lech Kaczynski unexpectedly announced he would not sign the treaty following its rejection by Ireland and there is concern over the stands of Germany and the Czech Republic where lawmakers have asked their constitutional courts to review the document, delaying its ratification. President Sarkozy pulled out the big guns on Monday night, saying that France would make the treaty’s ratification its top priority and dealing
The Czech Republic is one of seven EU countries which haven’t yet ratified the Lisbon Treaty. Its ratification has become a divisive issue between the eurosceptic and moderate wings in the government’s strongest party, the Civic Democrats. In this edition of Talking Point, we look at the controversies surrounding the treaty’s ratification in the Czech Republic.
Leaders of EU countries agreed in Brussels on Friday that the Lisbon Treaty ratification process will continue in the remaining seven countries, regardless of last week’s no vote by the Irish. They also made a concession to the Czech Republic where the process is pending on a verdict of the country’s constitutional court.
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