The past two years have seen a revitalization in Czech-Indian ties, with intensified cooperation in the academic and business spheres as well as people to people contacts. The driving force behind this effort is the Indian ambassador to the Czech Republic Narinder Chauhan. When the ambassador visited Radio Prague International this week we spoke about the strong bonds between the two nations, the growing Indian community in this country and her life in Prague. I began by asking her how far back Czech-Indian relations actually go.
The foreign ministers of the Visegrad Four, comprising the Czech Republic,
Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, are due to meet with their Egyptian
counterpart Sameh Shoukry in Prague next week. Among the topics on their
agenda will be the security situation in the Middle East and north Africa
and its impact on the European Union.
Mr Shoukry, who will be in the Czech Republic from Wednesday to Friday, will also hold bilateral talks with his Czech counterpart, Tomáš Petříček. Egypt is one of the Czech Republic’s most significant trading partners in the Middle East. In 2018 the volume of mutual trade reached over 345 million US dollars.
Previously a strong advocate of cultivating ties with Beijing, the Czech president has signalled a major U-turn. Miloš Zeman now says he will not attend an annual China-organised summit in April, citing disappointment with the level of Chinese investment in the Czech Republic. I discussed this shift and its implications with Jeremy Garlick, a China expert at Prague’s University of Economics.
The Czech Republic and Austria enjoy good bilateral relations despite
differences in the perception of nuclear energy, Czech Prime Minister
Andrej Babiš and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told journalists
following bilateral talks in Prague on Thursday.
The heads of government found common ground on a number of issues including migration, security and business and trade.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz noted at their joint press briefing that the Czech Republic is Austria's largest and most important trading partner in Central and Eastern Europe.
Earlier in the day he attended a meeting with the prime ministers of the Visegrad Four countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary) to discuss climate and energy issues.
Chancellor Kurz made it clear that Austria did not like the idea that EU subsidies intended to help member states phase-out coal mining and boost alternate energy sources should be used for nuclear energy.
Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček completes his three-day official visit to India on Wednesday, during which he and his delegation primarily sought to strengthen mutual ties, especially in business. Martin Hříbek from Charles University’s Institute of South and Central Asia points out that while bilateral ties go a long way back, in many areas relations had to be rebuilt from scratch after 1989.
It is essential to work on averting a military conflict in the Middle East
and get Iran to stop supporting terrorist groups which are destabilizing
the region, Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček said following a
meeting with his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubei in Prague on Friday.
The two officials discussed the situation in the region following the killing of Iran’s military leader in Iraq and retaliatory strikes by Iran, focussing on the possibility to start multilateral negotiations which would defuse the tensions.
The Czech foreign minister said stabilizing Iraq was also a major priority. The Czech Republic, which has soldiers and police officers in NATO's training mission in Iraq, has said it hopes to be able to continue in its work once the situation has calmed down.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Defence Ministry officials have moved to quell concerns over the security of Czech soldiers and police officers serving in Iraq. The general chief of staff said precautions had been taken to ensure the safety of the 40-member-strong Czech team and an emergency evacuation plan was in place should the need arise.
Amidst growing tension over the latest developments in the Middle East, following the killing of Iran’s military leader Qassem Soleimani in Iraq, the Czech foreign minister has joined calls for a level-headed approach to the crisis, warning that a further escalation of tension will not only destabilize the region, but put at risk the progress made in the war on terror.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has indicated he would welcome the
presence of Czech President Miloš Zeman at next year‘s Victory Day
celebrations in Moscow. In his New Year’s greetings to the Czech head of
state, President Putin wrote that President Zeman’s presence at the end
of war celebrations in Moscow would symbolize “friendship and mutual
respect between the two nations”.
The message comes in the wake of news that President Miloš Zeman is considering cancelling his planned visit to Russia next year in protest against what he described as Russia’s outrageously insolent reaction to the Czech Parliament’s decision to recognize the day of the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia as a day of remembrance for those who had been killed by the invading forces.
Moscow said in response to the news that Prague's efforts to return to the 1968 events in order to incorporate them into the current political context, would not contribute to good relations and cooperation between the two countries.
Archaeologists unearth seven graves dating back to Great Moravian Empire
Czech biochemist involved in developing potential coronavirus treatment
“Einstein in Bohemia” – Part II: how alienation in ‘half-barbaric’ Prague led him to a new theory of gravity, eventual love of a free Czechoslovakia
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