Three and a half months after the official forming of Andrej Babiš’s cabinet, the Czech foreign ministry has received a full-time leader. Until now, Jan Hamáček, who is minister of the interior, had been in temporary charge. In a move that is widely understood as a political compromise, the new man in charge is Tomáš Petříček, the previous candidate’s assistant.
Czech Prime Minister and ANO party leader Andrej Babiš travelled to Warsaw
on Monday to visit the headquarters of the European Border and Coast Guard
Agency, Frontex, which he says should focus mainly on returning migrants to
the country of origin or to the transit states.
Babiš has recently criticized the European Commission’s plans to increase funding for Frontex, arguing that it amounts to duplicating European security structures and boosting an agency that has not proven very effective.
In Warsaw he also met his Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki. Among the topics on their agenda was the upcoming EU summit in Brussels and migration. They also agreed on the need to help source countries of migration improve conditions at home.
A “Friends of Tibet” group has just been established by fifty deputies and senators in the Czech Parliament. The news was announced on Tuesday at the Forum 2000 conference in Prague. The group, established by the Pirate Party along with the Civic and Christian Democrats and TOP09 aims to focus on human rights issues as well as environmental and cyber protection.
Politicians must work together to build trust in democratic governance and
fight growing support for protest and anti-establishment parties and
groupings not just in Europe but the world over, Deputy Foreign Minister
Tomáš Petříček said at the international conference Forum 2,000
currently underway in Prague.
Petříček said liberal democracy was still the best system of governance created by mankind, but it would have to be more efficient and faster in dealing with problems in order to regain trust.
He added that Czech politicians who had experienced the communist regime had a duty to keep reminding society that freedom and democracy were not to be taken for granted and must be defended and protected at all times.
President Miloš Zeman is to appoint Tomáš Petříček foreign minister
on October 16th, the president’s spokesman announced on Monday.
Although the appointment had been expected already this week, it was reportedly postponed due to the fact that the president will be travelling to Slovakia to attend a Visegrad Group summit in Bratislava.
The Czech foreign ministry has been run on a temporary basis by Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Jan Hamáček, after President Zeman refused to appoint the Social Democrat’s previous nominee Miroslav Poche to the post.
The Social Democrats’ nominee for minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš
Petříček, should be installed in the post at the end of next week, Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš of ANO said after a meeting with President Zeman on
Mr. Zeman’s spokesperson said that the head of state would meet Mr. Petříček on Thursday. The president refused to appoint the Social Democrats’ previous candidate for diplomatic chief and the party’s Jan Hamáček has been filling the role in a caretaker capacity.
The Social Democratic Party’s unsuccessful candidate for foreign minister
Miroslav Poche will leave his post at the foreign ministry as soon as a new
foreign minister has been appointed, the party’s new nominee for the
post, Deputy Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček told journalists on
The announcement came following a meeting with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš who is to discuss Petříček’s nomination with President Zeman later today.
Poche, whom the president refused to appoint foreign minister on the grounds of his pro-migrant views, has been serving in the post of political secretary at the ministry and chief aide to acting foreign minister, Jan Hamáček.
President Zeman has already signaled that he considers the party’s new nominee for the post of foreign minister acceptable.
The Czech Republic will open an embassy in Mali as of January 1, 2019, the
Czech Foreign Ministry announced on its web page citing a decision by the
The embassy in Bamako should play a key role in strengthening cooperation in the field of security, increasing the Czech presence in military and civilian missions aimed at stabilizing the Sahel region and contribute to the development of mutual economic cooperation.
In his address to the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly,
acting Czech foreign minister, Jan Hamáček, spoke about the need for
greater international cooperation in defending the universal ideals and
values the UN was founded on.
History teaches us that respect for human rights is the best remedy for conflict and violence, Hamáček said,adding that the historical experience of his own country provided many examples of this.
Hamáček mentioned the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia saying the lessons of the past are still relevant today since clearly not all countries, including those situated in Eastern Europe, have the right to choose their foreign policy orientation without a threat to their sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The acting Czech foreign minister pointed to the annexation of Crimea which he said represented a blatant violation of international law.
The founder and first president of Czechoslovakia, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, once said that states are sustained only by those ideals from which they were born. The same must be true about the United Nations.
The UN was founded for the protection of peace, human rights, justice and social progress and all member states should embrace those ideals, Hamáček concluded.
Czech-German business cooperation, European issues and the possible impacts
of the trade war between the US and China topped the agenda of President
Zeman’s talks with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and
Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday.
The German president said that as neighbours and EU members the Czech Republic and Germany were closer than ever and had a joint responsibility in helping to overcome the drawn-out European crisis and preventing another division of Europe into East and West.
During talks with Angela Merkel President Zeman praised Czech-German business ties, but criticized US protectionist measures, saying a trade war would benefit no one and could spark a new global crisis. He was also critical of the sanctions against Iran, saying Czech firms were interested in doing business with the country.
President Zeman said the talks with German officials had been friendly and constructive and migration issues had only been discussed marginally.
Observers noted that for the first time Czech-German top-level talks dealt exclusively with present-day issues and did not dwell on the past.
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