The former Czechoslovak communist foreign minister Bohuslav Chnoupek, has died in Prague after a short illness at the age of 78. Apart from his political and diplomatic career, Mr Chnoupek also wrote many journalist reports, political publications and books. Bohuslav Chnoupek was born in 1925 in the Slovak capital Bratislava. He joined the Communist party in 1945. In 1969 to 1970 he was general director of Czechoslovak Radio where he implemented the first wave of the normalisation purges. Those followed the suppression of the Prague Spring reform movement by Warsaw Pact troops which occupied Czechoslovakia in August, 1968. In 1990, Mr Chnoupek was expelled from the Czechoslovak Communist Party and in the same year he was accused of abuse of power and spent six months in custody.
This week the prime ministers of the Visegrad Four - a loose alliance of 4 central European states -the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland -met to debate the future of the grouping now that all its members have joined the European Union. Contrary to the expectations of those who believe that the Visegrad Group is now obsolete, the prime ministers decided to keep the grouping active within the EU. Radio Prague's David Vaughan spoke to Ivan Jancarek, director of the EU section at the Czech Foreign Ministry about the future role of the Visegrad
Thursday's massacre in Madrid has shocked the international community, provoking condemnation from governments around the world and evoking fears that the killings could be just the start of a bigger terrorist campaign. In the Czech Republic government officials have expressed their condolences to the people of Spain and condemned the attack as "a terrible atrocity". Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla said that Thursday's events in the Spanish capital provided further proof of the fact that terrorism cannot be tolerated in any form and that the Czech Republic
TV Nova claimed on Tuesday that Serbia and Montenegro is planning to complain to the Czech foreign ministry after the former commander of Albanian rebels in Kosovo was allowed to visit the Czech city of Ostrava. Former rebel commander Agim Ceku is now in charge of the Kosovo Protection Corps, and was in Ostrava to inspect a group of former KLA rebels being retrained as firemen under a UN-sponsored scheme. Rob Cameron reports.
Czech President Vaclav Klaus has met in Moscow with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. On Saturday the two men discussed improving Czech-Russian relations, with Mr Putin stressing the importance of reaching agreement on such points as the outstanding Russian debt to the Czech Republic, inherited from the former Soviet Union. Mr Putin pointed out that both Russia and the Czech Republic had a variety of common interests that remained to be discussed, with Mr Klaus welcoming the opportunity for "rational dialogue". Mr Klaus' visit to Russia is his second this year: in May, at Mr Putin's request, he and 40 other heads of state gathered in St Petersburg to celebrate the city's 300th anniversary. The Russian president is himself a St Petersburg native.
...this is the opening jingle of a weekly programme on Czech Television which discusses a variety of issues in connection with the Czech Republic's accession to the European Union. The public TV station currently broadcasts a number of programmes dedicated to the same topic. TV spots and discussion programmes are only a part of a much broader campaign, financed by the Foreign Ministry. Jana Adamcova is the head of the ministry's Department for Communication Strategy.
Cyril Svoboda, who is the leader of the Christian Democrats, was appointed Czech foreign minister after elections to the Chamber of Deputies in June. The director of Radio Prague, Miroslav Krupicka, recently interviewed Mr Svoboda; with world opinion mixed to say the least on a possible United States-led attack on Iraq, Mr Krupicka asked the Foreign Minister whether the Czech Republic would support such an attack.
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