Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček warned that the ongoing Turkish
offensive into northern Syria will “only worsen the situation of
civilians and refugees in the region” in an official statement published
on the website of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He said that
currently there is no possibility other than diplomatic pressure to calm
the situation and that he expects a common EU approach to be formulated
Mr. Petříček further suggested that the United States should also contribute towards a solution and reiterated that the Czech Republic continues to support the peace process in Syria.
Turkey launched its long-planned military operation against Kurdish fighters on earlier on Wednesday in north-east Syria after U.S. forces withdrew from the area.
The Czech Rectors Conference, a body compromising the leaders of Czech
Universities, has sent a letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping urging him
to intervene in the case of former Xinjiang University President Tashpolat
Tiyip and prevent his possible execution. The letter asks the Chinese
leader that the academic be released unconditionally unless there is
credible evidence that he committed an internationally recognised offense.
Professor Tashpolat, who is of Uighur ethnicity, was arrested two years ago at Beijing airport and sentenced to a suspended death sentence for his support of separatism.
Czech transport authorities will increase the country’s transport
capacity during the Karel Gott memorial and church mass events taking place
this Friday and Saturday in Prague, the Czech News Agency reported on
Wednesday. České dráhy, the country’s primary railway company, and
RegioJet will both increase capacity on their trains. Other transport
companies have registered an increase in reservations.
České dráhy have chosen to increase capacity on morning and afternoon connections primarily coming in from Moravia, as well as Western and Southern Bohemia.
Meanwhile, the spokesman of RegioJet, which provides rail and bus connections, told the Czech News Agency that a large segment of the connections running between the Czech capital and Ostrava are sold-out.
The former president of Poland and one of the founders of the 1980s Polish
labour union movement known as “Solidarity”, Lech Wałęsa, will be one
of the speakers at this year’s Forum 2000 conference in Prague, the Czech
News Agency reported on Wednesday. Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová, the
Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I. and Czech Foreign
Minister Tomáš Petříček will also feature among the wide list of
prominent thought leaders attending the three-day conference which starts
The conference is organised annually and was co-founded by former Czech President Václav Havel. Its primary aims are the support of democratic values, civil society and respect for human rights. On the occasion of the 30 anniversary since the fall of the Iron Curtain, this year’s theme has been named “Recovering the Promise of 1989.”
The informal chain of small Vietnamese stores makes up the largest retail
chain in the Czech Republic and possibly composes up to a fifth of the
market, according to the head of the Confederation of Trade and Tourism
Tomáš Prouza. Speaking to the Czech News Agency, Mr. Prouza said that a
new law amendment which is currently being prepared could affect these
small-retailer alliances by re-evaluating them as a significant market
According to him, inspectors currently have problems when dealing with the owners of such stores in part because of the murkiness surrounding their company ID. By classifying such retailers as an alliance of traders under the new legislation could help tax them more effectively.
The National Museum opened its new memorial to Jan Palach, the student who
protested the passivity of his countrymen following the Soviet-led invasion
of Czechoslovakia in 1968 by self-immolation, in Všetaty on Wednesday. The
house which Jan Palach grew up in, in the Central Bohemian village, has now
been converted into a memorial featuring a multimedia exposition. The
opening ceremony was attended by the minister of culture and Cardinal
The building was bought by the National Museum in 2014, but work on the memorial only began last year.
The Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček has criticized the Chinese
Embassy’s reaction to Prague City Hall’s revocation of the
Prague-Beijing sister city agreement. The foreign minister told journalists
on Wednesday morning that threats have no place in diplomacy.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday evening, the Chinese Ambassador to Prague Zhang Jianmin called on City Hall to change its approach to the revocation of the Prague-Beijing agreement, or countermeasures will be enacted.
Mr. Petříček also said that nothing has changed in the attitudes of the Czech government towards China and that he repeatedly told the Chinese ambassador that the government cannot influence the decisions made by Prague City Hall.
Dr. Zdeňek Ondráček, a communist party member of the Chamber of Deputies
has found himself under fire following allegations he plagiarised parts of
his thesis during the time he studied for his doctorate at the Palacký
University in Olomouc. The MP has dismissed the claims and said he is
considering legal steps in his defence.
Journalists from the Czech daily Mf DNES found eight passages sometimes up to a page long from previous academic research, which Dr. Ondráček failed to either cite or reference in his thesis.
According to the Palacký University in Olomouc, Dr. Ondráček’s thesis was checked by anti-plagiarism software upon being handed in and nothing was detected. However, the university spokeswoman told Czech Radio that the institution will re-analyse the thesis and should have a conclusion ready within a month.
China’s ambassador to the Czech Republic has called on the Prague
authorities to change their approach after they decided to terminate a
sister city agreement with Beijing. Otherwise, Ambassador Zhang Jianmin
said on Facebook, Prague’s own interests will suffer.
Prague City Hall took the decision to abrogate the twin towns agreement after China refused to remove an article from the document stating that Prague recognises the One China policy.
China has in the recent past blocked music ensembles linked to Prague from touring the country.