Czech diplomats have negotiated the release of two workers for a German non-governmental organization who were being held in Syria. The two men, one of whom is a German national, were handed over to Czech Foreign Minister Jan Hamáček in Damascus and flown to Prague where they were met by representatives of their respective embassies.
The Ukrainian embassy in Prague has protested the “illegal” visit of
two Czech politicians to the territory of Crimea, annexed by Russia in
2014, Interfax reported.
Communist MEP Jaromír Kohlíček and Senator Jaroslav Doubrava of the Severočeši.cz movement attended Sunday's Sevastopol parade of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the embassy said.
“To somehow whitewash their crimes, Russia is chaotically searching around the world for politicians with a lower threshold of political hygiene, who are ready to participate in propaganda voyages to the occupied peninsula. Unfortunately, several such politicians were found in the Czech Republic,” the embassy said in a statement, according to Interfax.
The Turkish Supreme Court this week upheld a six-year prison sentence for two Czechs convicted on charges of terrorism in 2017. The Czech couple Marketa Všelichová and Miroslav Farkas, humanitarian workers who vehemently denied the accusations that they had assisted the Kurdish militia YPG, which Turkey considers a terrorist organization, have thus exhausted all the legal possibilities of appeal in Turkey. I spoke to their close friend Janusz Konieczny to find out what conditions they are being held in and how they feel about this latest
The chairman of the lower house of parliament, Radek Vondráček (ANO),
announced on Wednesday he will pay a 10-day official visit to United States
during which he plans to stress the importance of transatlantic ties and
commemorate the centenary of the founding of Czechoslovakia.
Mr Vondráček, who will be in the US from July 16 to July 25, said he had been invited to visit the US House of Representatives by his American counterpart, Paul Ryan (Republican).
In March, Mr Ryan had visited the Czech Republic while on vacation, but nonetheless during his semi-official visit addressed the parliament, where he stressed the importance of bilateral ties and solidarity among NATO members.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) is due to meet his Polish counterpart
Mateusz Morawiecki (PiS) on Friday to discuss ways to boost bilateral trade
and cooperation, as well as wider European issues affecting the Visegrad
Group, which also includes Hungary and Slovakia.
The two leaders will meet in the Czech spa town of Karlovy Vary before heading to Bulgaria for a conference taking place within a summit between China and 16 Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC).
The “China 16+1 Summit”, now its seventh year, has raised alarm in Brussels over the intensifying level of engagement between the member countries and communist China, which has invested heavily in the CEE region.
French President Emanuel Macron met with the Czech and Slovak prime
ministers in Paris on Saturday, on the occasion of celebrations in France
marking the birth of Czechoslovakia 100 years ago.
On June 29 the government of France officially acknowledged the right of Czechs and Slovaks to independence, and the next day 6,000 Czechoslovak legionaries took an oath of allegiance to the new state in the presence of the French president.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš thanked France for its crucial role in assisting the birth of independent Czechoslovakia and said the seven decades of coexistence had helped Czechs and Slovaks to develop into the strong, sovereign, democratic states they were today.
After the meeting the French president and Czech and Slovak prime ministers signed framework agreements on strategic partnership outlining future cooperation in security, the fight against terrorism, research and development and student exchanges.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has hailed the agreement on migration reached after nine hours of gruelling talks at an EU summit in Brussels as a huge success for the Visegrad Group’s common policy. The newly-appointed head of government, who has vehemently fought the idea of mandatory quotas, said the focus had shifted with the accent now on voluntary cooperation and the need to resolve the migrant crisis outside of Europe.
The Social Democrats’ Miroslav Poche says if he does not become foreign
minister he could serve in another role at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Czech Television reported on Saturday. The MEP is his party’s choice for
that portfolio in a minority coalition taking shape with ANO. However, his
appointment is opposed by President Miloš Zeman and ANO Andrej Babiš.
Mr. Poche described a possible scenario under which Social Democrats chairman Jan Hamáček would temporarily take on foreign affairs as a second portfolio and he himself would serve in a different role at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as “plan B”.
However, both he and Mr. Hamáček are still insisting that Mr. Poche head the ministry, he said.
The leader of the Social Democrats, Jan Hamáček, says he could
temporarily also serve as minister of foreign affairs in a coalition his
party is planning with ANO. ANO are opposed to the Social Democrats’
nominee for the foreign affairs portfolio, Miroslav Poche.
Mr. Hamáček, who is in line to serve as interior minister in the Communist-supported two-party minority government, made the comments after President Miloš Zeman – who is also opposed to his candidature – asked Mr. Poche to step aside during a meeting on Friday.
ANO leader Andrej Babiš says he would have no problem with Social Democrats’ chairman Hamáček holding two ministerial posts for a limited period.
Mr. Babiš has said that the prospective coalition could undergo a vote of confidence in the lower house on July 11.
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