The distribution of refugees remains to be the only problematic issue in
the otherwise excellent Czech-German relations, German chancellor Angela
Merkel said on Wednesday after meeting with Czech Prime Minister Andrej
Babiš in Berlin. Several dozen people gathered outside the German
Chancellery in the German capital to protest against Mr. Babiš.
The ANO party leader, who arrived in Berlin for his first official visit of Germany, is also set scheduled to meet with Bundestag president Wolfgang Schäuble. Earlier on Wednesday, he held talks with representatives of several local think tanks and laid a wreath at the Berlin Wall Memorial.
The Social Democrats’ nominee for foreign minister, Miroslav Poche, has
been a very negative force at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, says Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš. Mr. Babiš said on a TV discussion show on Sunday
that Mr. Poche, who is currently a political secretary at the ministry,
would never head the government department.
President Miloš Zeman refused to appoint Mr. Poche and Social Democrats chairman, Minister of the Interior Jan Hamáček, is currently also serving as caretaker foreign minister. The party say they will return to the matter after Senate and municipal elections next month.
Mr. Poche described the prime minister’s words on Sunday as an attack. He said if Mr. Babiš was cooperating with the likes of Hungary’s Viktor Orban he would be hard pressed to find a similarly minded foreign minister within the Social Democrats.
The broad Social Democratic Party leadership is meeting to debate the
problem regarding the party’s unsuccessful nominee for foreign minister.
Party leaders have proposed shelving the issue until October 15th, ie.
until after the Senate and local elections.
Miroslav Poche, whom the party nominated for the post, was rejected both by President Miloš Zeman and later by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. President Zeman refused to appoint him to office and the post was temporarily filled by party leader Jan Hamáček, who is also serving as minister of the interior.
When the Czech Republic re-opened its embassy in Zambia last year after a twenty-five-year break, Radek Rubeš handed over his credentials to President Edgar Lungu and set about re-establishing the Czech presence in Lusaka. When I met with him in Prague this week, I asked about the possibilities opening up and how hard it is to build on the Czechoslovak trademark that still rings a bell in Zambia.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš will hold talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on September 5. The talks are expected to focus primarily on migration, the EU budget, Brexit and European elections. A number of bilateral issues are also on the agenda, such as road construction, cooperation in research and development and the Czech-German Fund of the Future. The Czech prime minister this week held talks in Italy and Malta to try to convince European leaders to change their approach to the migrant crisis.
Miroslav Poche remains the Social Democrats’ only candidate for foreign
minister, the party’s leader, Jan Hamáček, told journalists on Monday.
Mr. Hamáček, who is minister of the interior, has also been acting
minister of foreign affairs since President Miloš Zeman rejected Mr.
Poche’s nomination when he appointed a coalition government of ANO and
the Social Democrats.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš of ANO recently said he expected the Social Democrats to put forward a different name for the post. He said the matter needed to be resolved soon as the Czech Republic would be marking the centenary of Czechoslovakia at the UN General Assembly in September.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš of ANO says he hopes Jan Hamáček of
coalition partners the Social Democrats resolves the situation at the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs within two months at the latest. He made the
comment in an interview for Právo. At present Mr. Hamáček, who is
minister of the interior, is also serving as foreign minister in a
temporary capacity. The situation came about after President Miloš Zeman
refused the Social Democrats’ candidate for foreign policy chief,
Mr. Babiš said he expected the Social Democrats to put forward a different nominee. The prime minister said the current situation had to end as the Czech Republic would be celebrating the centenary of Czechoslovakia at the UN General Assembly, which begins in the last week of September.
Czech diplomats have negotiated the release of two workers for a German non-governmental organization who were being held in Syria. The two men, one of whom is a German national, were handed over to Czech Foreign Minister Jan Hamáček in Damascus and flown to Prague where they were met by representatives of their respective embassies.
The Ukrainian embassy in Prague has protested the “illegal” visit of
two Czech politicians to the territory of Crimea, annexed by Russia in
2014, Interfax reported.
Communist MEP Jaromír Kohlíček and Senator Jaroslav Doubrava of the Severočeši.cz movement attended Sunday's Sevastopol parade of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the embassy said.
“To somehow whitewash their crimes, Russia is chaotically searching around the world for politicians with a lower threshold of political hygiene, who are ready to participate in propaganda voyages to the occupied peninsula. Unfortunately, several such politicians were found in the Czech Republic,” the embassy said in a statement, according to Interfax.
The Turkish Supreme Court this week upheld a six-year prison sentence for two Czechs convicted on charges of terrorism in 2017. The Czech couple Marketa Všelichová and Miroslav Farkas, humanitarian workers who vehemently denied the accusations that they had assisted the Kurdish militia YPG, which Turkey considers a terrorist organization, have thus exhausted all the legal possibilities of appeal in Turkey. I spoke to their close friend Janusz Konieczny to find out what conditions they are being held in and how they feel about this latest
New foreigners’ law to change conditions for non-EU nationals
Czech rock climber Adam Ondra knocked out of World Cup in Japan
Czech foreign ministry reports record number of visa applications
New index shows locations with best quality of life in Czech Republic
Archaeologists unearth rare Renaissance-Baroque brew house in ‘Czech Paradise’