A diplomatic row has broken out between the Czech Republic and Belarus. On Wednesday, the Belarusian authorities expelled a Czech diplomat after arresting and detaining him despite his diplomatic immunity. In return, a Belarusian diplomat was expelled from Prague on Friday in an incident reminiscent of the Cold War.
Two months ago, the governor of Baghdad narrowly escaped an assassination attempt, as a roadside bomb attack rocked his convoy, leaving two civilians dead. One week ago, Gov. Ali al-Haidri declared a 60-day state of emergency ahead of a major U.S.-Iraq military offensive against insurgents based in the city of Fallujah. This Friday, however, the Iraqi governor was in Prague to discuss plans -- and possible work for Czech engineering and construction firms -- for the reconstruction of the historic city of Baghdad.
Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda is to visit Germany this Thursday. Before leaving he said that he would support the idea of the Czech government breaking a long-held taboo and making a "humanitarian gesture" towards the German minority living in the Czech Republic. This would take the form of symbolic financial compensation to a small number of Czech Germans, who actively resisted Nazism, during the Second World War.
It's been a couple of weeks since the new Czech government with prime minister Stanislav Gross survived a vote of confidence in the Czech Parliament. But the result was not a foregone conclusion. The slim majority of 101 votes out of 200, which the coalition enjoys in parliament, was endangered by several dissident voices within the ruling parties themselves. Apart from the criticism of the government's economic program, some also denounced its foreign policy. What was it that they disapproved of, and where is Czech foreign policy heading 15 years
Britain's foreign secretary, Jack Straw, was in Prague on Tuesday as the guest speaker at a meeting of the Czech Republic's ambassadors. Mr Straw also held talks with senior Czech politicians, on such issues as European-US relations, whether Turkey should be allowed to join the European Union and - of course - relations between the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic, which he described as "very close".
The United States is to buy a Czech radar system which it had reportedly asked the Czech authorities not to supply to China. The Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda told Czech TV on Sunday the US was buying one device now, and would consider a larger contract in the future. The "Vera" system does not emit any waves and can discover other radar systems without itself being detected; it is said to be able to detect US Stealth aircraft.
The three parties of the emerging coalition government have agreed on policy priorities for the future and are now in the process of deciding personnel matters: the division of seats in the future Cabinet. One of the hot seats is that of outgoing Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda. His chances of retaining it are very slim indeed. The Social Democrats' main argument against him is that as Czech Foreign Minister he was overly pro-American, at the cost of risking a breach with some European countries. Political analyst Jiri Pehe claims that this is simply
Reports have emerged recently that part of the controversial missile defence shield currently being built by the United States could be located here in the Czech Republic. The project, nicknamed "Son of Star Wars," is intended to protect the US and its allies from ballistic missile attack. News that Czech authorities have been in talks with Washington over basing part of the system here has provoked angry reactions. But how close are the plans to becoming reality? That's a question we put to Deputy Foreign Minister Jan Winkler.
The Czech Republic as a country with its own bitter experience of communist rule often enlists in events promoting democracy in totalitarian countries. The latest initiative has been aimed to encourage the transformation of society in Iraq. This initiative lay not only in financial investment but also in cooperation with non-governmental organizations and local partners. The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs has now established a new department called the "Section for Transformation Promotion", which will build on this experience and evolve similar
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