Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek has outlined the Czech Republic’s priorities for its upcoming chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, highlighting above all protection of human rights. Speaking at a conference at the Czernin Palace on Thursday, the minister also presented the Czech Republic’s logo for the chairmanship which is to last from May till November 2017.
The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs has opened a new embassy in the Zambian capital Lusaka. The official opening took place in the presence of visiting Czech Minister of Agriculture Marian Jurecka. The foreign ministry took the decision to open the embassy last December. Zambia will be one of the Czech Republic’s priority countries for development cooperation from 2018.
The Czech foreign minister, Lubomír Zaorálek, has denied suggestions that intelligence reports produced by the Czech embassy in Damascus are at odds with the position of the country’s NATO allies on the conflict in Syria. The charge was contained in a leaked document written by Czech diplomats at NATO HQ.
Turkey has slammed a resolution adopted by the lower house of the Czech parliament recognizing the Armenian genocide. The Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution condemning the Armenian Genocide as well as the genocide of other religious and national minorities in the Ottoman Empire during WWI. The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Thursday also criticised President Miloš Zeman for his letter addressed to the Armenian diaspora in this country with regard to the events of 1915, claiming that the letter included serious inconsistencies.
A visit by Czech President Miloš Zeman to the White House has been postponed, the freshly appointed Czech ambassador to Washington, Hynek Kmoníček, told Czech Television on Tuesday. Mr. Zeman and President Donald Trump spoke by telephone shortly after the latter’s election win and the Czech head of state said Mr. Trump had invited him to visit Washington in April. Mr. Kmoníček said Mr. Trump’s agenda was currently dominated by the “North Korea crisis” and that talks on a visit by Mr. Zeman later in the year were ongoing. President Zeman was one of the few European leaders to publicly support Mr. Trump when he was campaigning for the White House.
The consequences of political developments in Turkey and Ukraine will be at the centre of interest during the Czech Republic’s upcoming chairmanship of the Council of Europe, Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek said following talks with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland in Prague on Friday. He highlighted particularly human rights violations, aid to displaced families and the fate of children caught up in political and military conflicts.The two officials discussed practical issues of the chairmanship and priorities related to the mandate of the organization, i.e. the protection of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The Czech Republic is to preside over the Council of Europe from May until November of this year.
The Czech Republic has joined widespread condemnation of Tuesday’s toxic gas attack in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province that left 100 people dead and 400 injured, many of them children. Speaking at an international conference in aid of Syria, Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaorálek said that if it were confirmed that the Assad regime had used chemical weapons against innocent civilians Prague would consider resolute action, including the possibility of closing its embassy in Damascus.
An Internet petition has been started protesting the Old Bailey, London,
court verdict which set free on April 3 a British man accused of killing a
Czech outside a fast food joint in the East End last year. The petition’s
founder writes that against all evidence the accused was found not guilty
of either murder or manslaughter by a jury. The petition will be sent to
the British Home Secretary when 2,500 signatures were accumulated. It
already had 2,260 mid-morning Wednesday. The case of the deceased Czech,
Zdeněk Makar, has been taken up by Czech foreign minister Lubomír
Zaorálek. He called in the British ambassador to Prague, Jan Thompson, for
an explanation and was due to speak to his British counterpart, Boris
Johnson, on Wednesday.
Zaorálek later said he had sent a diplomatic note to London calling for all details of the trail and asking for information how the verdict could be appealed. After his meeting with Johnson, he also said he had sought assurances that the victim's Czech nationality was not a factor in the killing.