President Miloš Zeman is pressing for the wife of his predecessor Václav Klaus to be named the Czech Republic’s ambassador to Slovakia. However, Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg – who Mr. Zeman beat to become head of state – is opposed to the appointment of Livia Klausová; he says the idea looks like payback for the former first lady’s support for Miloš Zeman during the presidential campaign.
A Czech pro-Palestinian activist was deported from Israel on Thursday, a day after he was detained by the Israeli army during a march in Hebron, in the West Bank, according to a report by ISM, a Palestinian group. The Czech citizen was deported along with a Danish and a German activist. The march, which took place on the day US President Barack Obama arrived in Israel on an official visit, was to draw attention to the Palestinian movement for independence.
A group of opposition Belorussian activists – the Young European Federalists – have asked President Miloš Zeman to take a stand against the current Belorussian president, Alexander Luakshenko. They invited the Czech presidet to take part in Days of Belarus events, which will be taking place in April. The activist group has also asked for support from the Foreign Ministry.
An Austrian court found a former Czech police officer guilty of a series of robberies and attempted robberies that he committed in Austria and Germany after leaving the police force in 2011. The Austrian news agency APA reported that the 42-year-old confessed to robbing or attempting to rob gas stations and banks in Linz and in the German city of Chemnitz. The man was given a four-year prison sentence.
There are now many guidebooks on how to achieve career success in your chosen profession, most of them crammed with tips on how to dress, how to behave, and how to get promoted. A new book out by Linda Štucbartová called Ambassadors Without Diplomatic Passports is different. The author lets successful Czechs give their own advice on what to do, what to expect and what to avoid in their given field, be they career diplomats or people from other walks of life.
Intensive efforts are underway to try to secure the release of two Czech women kidnapped in Pakistan last week. No one has claimed responsibility for the abduction. The two women, both in their mid-20s were kidnapped in Balochistan province when unknown assailants stopped their van. The guard traveling with them was later released. The Czech Foreign Ministry has so far been unable to trace their whereabouts and is communicating with the local authorities. It has warned Czechs against making trips to the region. President Zeman met with the Pakistani ambassador to Prague on Monday and handed over a letter to the Pakistani president asking for assistance in the matter. There is speculation the two women could have been abducted to Afghanistan.
The Czech Foreign Ministry has no news of two Czech tourists who had been kidnapped in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan, a spokeswoman for the ministry said. The ministry has set up a crisis team to deal with the situation but has received no concrete information from Pakistani authorities of the whereabouts of the two women, or who could have kidnapped them. Friends and family of the abducted Czech travellers have meanwhile set up an internet website in their support.
President Miloš Zeman and First Lady Ivana received Great Britain’s Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, at Prague Castle on Tuesday. Prince Edward and his wife are the first foreign dignitaries President Zeman has received since assuming office. The royal couple are in Prague for a three-day private visit at the invitation of the British Embassy in Prague. Next week Prince Edward will award 35 Czech students the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award at Černín Palace, home to the Czech Foreign Ministry.
The new Czech president, Miloš Zeman, took up office at Prague Castle on
Monday, three days after being sworn in. The head of state’s first tasks
included a meeting with Czech diplomats, whom he told he support
international trade and would bring delegations of Czech businessmen with
him on foreign trips. Mr. Zeman also told members of the diplomatic corps
that combating terrorism was the common task of the international
On Wednesday, Mr. Zeman will meet the governors of the Czech Republic’s 13 regions. However, he has turned down an invitation from Prime Minister Petr Nečas to attend a government session on Wednesday, the first since he assumed office.
There has been a mixed reaction from Czech politicians to the president’s inauguration speech. The minister of finance, Miroslav Kalousek of TOP 09, said he was disappointed that the new head of state had made no reference to foreign policy and in particular to the European Union. The Civic Democrats’ Jaroslav Kubera said the president was the only politician who could afford to speak about the media in such a way, while his party colleague Jiří Pospíšil said that while he had not welcomed Mr. Zeman’s attack on the media, he appreciated his promise to serve as a moderator between the political parties. The latter view was also endorsed by Michal Babák of Public Affairs.
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Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib on tourism, China, Taiwan – and city’s two tanks