News

 

Czech president calls for greater solidarity with Israel in Knesset address

 
photo:  (radio.cz)
 

On a state visit to Israel, Czech President Miloš Zeman on Monday addressed a special session of the country’s parliament, the Knesset – the first Czech politician ever to do so. Mr. Zeman highlighted the special relationship between the two countries and vowed to do everything in his power to ensure that the Czech Embassy be moved to Jerusalem.

 
 

“Prime Minister Netanjahu said that the Czech Republic is the best friend of Israel in Europe. I wonder why only in Europe?”

President Zeman opened his address to the packed assembly by voicing his special relationship to Israel, which he earlier called his second home, and citing his country’s historic support for the Jewish people. Mr. Zeman made it clear that he would like to see that support go much further – not only from his own country’s government, but from the European Union.

“We Europeans – I do not speak about America - I speak about the EU, are sometimes hesitant. We are sometimes cowards. It is very impolite, isn’t it? But I am afraid it is frank. It is necessary to show solidarity with Israel, because if we betray Israel, we betray ourselves.”

At the end of his address, President Zeman vowed to do his utmost to get the Czech Embassy moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, despite his limited executive power. He said the first step had been the appointment of an honorary consul in Jerusalem, the second, Tuesday’s opening of the Czech House, an office space which will house government institutions, but which will have no official diplomatic status. And finally, the moving of the Czech Embassy itself, which the Czech government has so far resisted on the grounds that the European Union is strongly opposed to the move.

“Well, friends, I am no dictator, unfortunately. But I promise I’ll do my best in order to realize the third step, after the honorary consulate and after the Czech House and you can guess what is to be the third step.”

Earlier, in talks with his host President Reuven Rivlin, Mr. Zeman said he was intrigued with his idea of a "one-state with two nations," adding that he personally could not envisage an independent state in the Gaza Strip since he perceived Hamas as a terrorist organization. He said President Rivlin’s idea was provocative, but noted that all bold ideas were.

President Rivlin thanked him for the Czech Republic’s friendship and cooperation, noting that in the current situation Czech-Israeli friendship was more important than ever.

 
Author: Český rozhlas Radio Praha
 
Added: 27.11.2018
 
 
 

Related articles

 
News
 
 

Czech PM: Israel is our strategic...

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is currently on an official visit to Israel, meeting with his counterpart...

 
 
News
 
 

EU space programme set for major...

A plan to revamp the Prague-based European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency is being keenly...

 
 
News
 
 

Quo vadis, Prime Minister Andrej...

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has been re-elected chairman of the ANO party that he founded seven years ago...

 
 
News
 
 

Unions threaten action over plan to...

The Czech Republic’s unions have come out strongly against the minister of finance’s plans to make some...

 
Most favourite

History of Czech fine art

What happened in the realm of fine art at the very beginning of the Czech…

Climate

The Czech Republic is a landlocked country located in moderate geographical…

The most significant current discoveries

During the last decade, Czech science has made many revolutionary discoveries…

Czech language

The Czech language belongs to the group of West Slavic languages. From another…

Traditional Czech products

Czech industrial production has a long tradition, and many products are known…

Traditional Czech products

Czech industrial production has a long tradition, and many products are known…

 
 

Facebook recent activity