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August 28, 2018 12:00 am | FILED UNDER: politics

Zeman Meets U.S. Ambassador On 100th Anniversary Of Czechoslovakia’s Birth

By ČTK Czech President Milos Zeman met U.S. Ambassador Stephen King

Prague, Aug 28 (CTK) – Czech President Milos Zeman met U.S. Ambassador Stephen King during an official luncheon in King’s residence in Prague today to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Czechoslovakia’s birth and they also discussed security and economic issues, their spokespersons have told CTK.

 

They debated a wide range of issues, such as the joint interest in European security within the adopted commitments and the opportunities for the development of the American-Czech economic partnership, including the energy and trade sectors, U.S. embassy Press Attache Edward Findlay said.

 

Zeman and King also talked about the upcoming celebrations of 100 years of the establishment of American-Czech relations, he added.

 

Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek said the main topic of “the friendly conversation” was cooperation between both countries in the security and economy sectors.

 

“The meeting was also devoted to the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Czechoslovakia and the key aid of the USA in this respect. The president invited the U.S. ambassador to Lany chateau [presidential summer residence],” Ovcacek added.

 

In January 1918, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson presented a 14-point programme that became the basis of Europe’s settlements after the First World War. They included the right to self-determination of the individual nations, which served as the core for the breakdown of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the establishment of the independent Czechoslovakia.

 

Ovcacek said in a press release this weekend that by today’s luncheon, Zeman will symbolically appreciate the role of the United States in the establishment of Czechoslovakia in 1918.

 

“The independent Czechoslovak Republic would have never been established without the contribution of the USA and President Wilson, who backed the ambitions of the central European nations,” Ovcacek said.

 

The USA is interested, for instance, in a ten-billion-crown contract on helicopters for the Czech military. The U.S. Westinghouse company might participate in a possible tender for the construction of another nuclear unit in the Czech Republic.

 

The Czech Presidential Office wants to know whether U.S. President Donald Trump will receive Zeman.

 

Zeman talked to Trump by phone after Trump’s election and Zeman’s Office then released that both presidents would meet in the White House in April 2017. However, the meeting did not take place.

 

In the past years, Zeman regularly went to the United States to attend sessions of the U.N. General Assembly. But he will not take part in its September session.

 

Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) said on Monday after a lunch with Zeman that the president had asked him to replace him at the U.N. session. However, because of Babis’s busy schedule, Deputy PM Jan Hamacek (Social Democrats, CSSD), who is in charge of heading the Foreign Affairs Ministry, will go to New York.

 

Hamacek confirmed on Monday at a meeting with Czech ambassadors he would attend the U.N. session.

 

Ovcacek previously explained Zeman’s intention not to attend the U.N. session by saying “all important has already been said at the General Assembly.”

 

Former president Vaclav Klaus regularly spoke at the U.N. summits. Zeman did not fly to New York after his election in 2013 and 2014, explaining via his then spokeswoman Hana Burianova that it was the task of the prime minister. Nevertheless, he attended the U.N. General Assembly sessions in 2015-2017. He mainly spoke about fight against terrorism and about migration.

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