US president Donald Trump made headlines with his Warsaw visit and comments on NATO, Russia, and the world situation. But the purported reason for his Polish stopover was mainly economic, highlighting the benefits that deliveries of US natural gas to countries in Central and South-East Europe. The Czech Republic was part of the Warsaw get together and will have taken notes of Trump’s main points.
Hello and welcome to Radio Prague with me, Ruth Fraňková. July 5 is a public holiday in the Czech Republic and on the occasion we are bringing you a special programme, featuring in-depth interviews with two of the recipients of this year’s Gratias Agit awards for promoting the good name of the Czech Republic abroad.
Czech president Miloš Zeman has sent a congratulatory letter to US president Donald Trump on the occasion of Independence Day, the US national holiday. The letter was published on the website of Prague Castle administration on Tuesday. The Czech head of state appreciated Mr Trump’s work since taking the office in January, namely his determination to fight terrorism. He also said the Czech Republic will cooperate with the US in promoting values such as freedom, religious tolerance and democracy.
The Czech Republic is currently chairing the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, one of Europe’s top human rights institutions. During a visit to Strasbourg last week Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek also discussed a case that has raised emotions in the Czech Republic – a not guilty verdict in the case of an attacker who killed a Czech man in London following an altercation outside a fast food outlet. The Czech Republic has been seeking ways to get the case reopened.
The Speaker of the lower house of Parliament Jan Hamáček will represent the Czech Republic at next week’s meeting in Warsaw between US President Donald Trump and counties of Central and Eastern Europe, Czech Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Michaela Lagronová announced on Saturday. The aim of Trump’s visit is to promote U.S. natural gas exports in a region heavily reliant on Russian crude oil supplies. The Trump administration sees growth in LNG exports as a way to reduce trade deficits with other nations and expand the economy.
The Czech Development Agency, set up in 2008 to help eradicate poverty and contribute to sustainable development, currently operates in over a dozen countries in different parts of the world. One of these long-term projects is in aid of the picturesque Tusheti protected landscape area in the north of Georgia where Czechs have been active since 2013. Michael Hošek, an expert on protected landscape area management and a member of the team currently there, came to Radio Prague’s studio to talk about the agency’s work.
Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen is in Prague for his first official visit to Czech Republic since taking office in January of this year. The former Green Party leader arrived by train which was several minutes late pulling into Prague’s Main Railway Station, inadvertently highlighting one of the key issues on the agenda of the upcoming talks: the need to improve road and rail links between the two neighbor states. I asked Jan Kovář from the Prague Institute of International Relations about the main sticking points in bilateral relations
Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen is in Prague on a two-day state visit. On Monday evening he met with Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka for talks covering bilateral relations, business and the development of transport infrastructure between the two countries. On Tuesday morning, the Austrian president will be received with military honours at Prague Castle by his Czech counterpart, Miloš Zeman. He is also expected to attend a Czech-Austrian business forum in Prague.
The Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lubomír Zaorálek, met with his German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel in Prague on Saturday. The German Foreign Minister said after the meeting that it was important for him to get a better understanding of the Czech stance. He added that a key question is what the EU is to do to effectively stop waves of refugees who are heading for Europe from Africa, rather than arguing about the migrant quota. Mr Zaorálek repeated that the Czech Republic was not ready to change its resistance to taking in refugees. Sigmar Gabriel is also scheduled to visit the town of Beroun, a partner town of the German Goslar where he was born.
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