German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is to pay a one-day visit to the
Czech Republic on September 12th, President Milos Zeman said at a meeting
with Czech ambassadors on Wednesday.
The Czech president said he had invited his German counterpart to visit the Czech Republic shortly after his election in February of this year, also in view of the fact that in 2017 the two neighbour states are marking an important anniversary : 20 years since the signing of the Czech-German Declaration on Reconciliation.
Libor Sečka is a seasoned Czech diplomat who has served as ambassador in countries such as Italy, Spain, Malta and China. At the start of 2016 he took office as Czech ambassador to the UK. On a brief visit to Prague, I spoke to him about his current mission, the life of a diplomat and how he won a bottle of wine in an ambassadorial bet on the outcome of the Brexit referendum.
The Czech government has decided to renovate the country’s embassy in
Germany, dropping a previous plan to build a new diplomatic mission in
Berlin, Právo reported on Tuesday. The renovation and temporary relocation
will cost the state over CZK 700 million, the newspaper said.
The Czech embassy in Berlin is an example of Brutalism and was designed by the architects Věra Machoninová and Vladimir Machonin, who also did Prague’s Kotva department store and Hotel Thermal and Karlovy Vary.
The embassy was built to accommodate up to 500 staff but at present it used by fewer than 50.
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has described ongoing strategic
dialogue between the Czech Republic and Germany as a key tool for good
relations in central Europe, only then mentioning cooperation between
countries in the Visegrad 4 (which include Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary).
Mr Sobotka made the statement at a meeting of Czech diplomats, in which he
outlined key areas in Czech foreign policy and Czech interests.
The prime minister proposed that countries in the EU who have not yet adopted the euro, could gain observer status during meetings between Eurozone finance ministers. Besides maintaining strong ties with Germany, the prime minister also made clear he wanted to intensify cooperation with France.
The former US president, Bill Clinton, first visited the Czech Republic in 1994, to offer the countries of the former communist block support and assistance on the road to democracy. It was a historic, trust-building visit in many ways, which saw the birth of a special friendship between the then US head of state and the Czech Republic’s first president Vaclav Havel. This week Bill Clinton gave Czech Radio’s Washington correspondent Lenka Kabrhelová an interview in which he recalled his visit to Prague, his admiration for Vaclav Havel, and how he
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, looks set to come to Prague in the
spring of next year. The Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, referred
to the visit after a meeting with Mr. Macron and the leaders of Austria and
Slovakia in Salzburg on Wednesday.
Mr. Sobotka said the French head of state would sign a new four-year plan on cooperation between his country and the Czech Republic in Prague. A current Czech-French strategic partnership agreement runs out at the end of 2018.
The Czech prime minister also said his country and France would commemorate two important anniversaries for his country next year, the centenary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia and 50 years since the Soviet-led invasion of 1968.
The post of fire service attaché has been created at the Czech embassy in the Slovak capital Bratislava, the daily Lidové Noviny reported on Thursday. The creation of the post was confirmed by the fire service spokeswoman who added that Slovakia was considering a similar post in Prague. The attaché would be responsible for planning joint operations, training and education and improve communications, she added. The paper commented that the Bratislava embassy appears to be used for various dubious posts which appear to look like ‘jobs for the boys.’
You’ll find them in Kosovo, Ukraine, Afghanistan or Iraq – Czech experts have been involved in civilian missions the world over for 15 years now. They help in war-torn countries and countries struggling to make a transition to democracy as the Czechs themselves did more than 25 years ago. The Czech Foreign Ministry recently organized a conference to mark 15 years of the country’s participation in civilian missions, assess the contribution made and chart a strategy for the future. Petr Gajdušek, State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Wisconsin Republican businessman Stephen King is set to become the next US ambassador to the Czech Republic, the news website The Hill reported. Mr. King, who is 75, worked for the FBI early in his career and was an investigator for the US Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He is reportedly close to senior Republicans Paul Ryan and Reince Priebus and did not openly back any candidate in the party’s presidential primaries. The previous American ambassador to Prague, Andrew Schapiro, congratulated him on the news of his appointment.
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