Top Czech Elected Officials Still Against Refugee Quotas

Prague, Sept 12 (CTK) – The Czech top elected officials still reject the obligatory redistribution of refugees based on quotas and they agree on the necessity to intensify activities to tackle conflicts in the regions where migrants are coming from, they said in a statement released after their meeting today.


President Milos Zeman, Prime Minister Andrej Babis, Chamber of Deputies chairman Radek Vondracek (both ANO), Foreign Minister Jan Hamacek (Social Democrats, CSSD) and Defence Minister Lubomir Metnar (for ANO), who met at Prague Castle, the presidential seat, this afternoon, also discussed other foreign political issues, such as Brexit, anti-Russian sanctions, the threat of trade wars, the preparation of a strategic dialogue with Israel and the coordination of foreign visits until the end of this year.


“The Czech Republic will keep pushing for a change to the rules of the Common European Asylum System that would prevent the abuse of the asylum rules to enter Europe illegally and enable to preserve the system for those who really need protection,” the supreme officials said in a joint statement.


The Czech Republic should react to foreign political threats, such as illegal migration and terrorism, in a more distinctive, active and flexible way, they added.


Their meeting on foreign policy lasted about two hours. The politicians did not comment on its content for the media.


Some 15 demonstrators were protesting against Zeman’s foreign policy at Prague Castle, saying he was pushing the Czech Republic towards its departure from NATO and the EU. They were chanting slogans when the limousines with politicians were leaving the Castle.


The elected officials also confirmed in their statement the importance of the Czech Republic’s membership of NATO.


They supported the Czech contribution to NATO defence and the spreading of stability in its neighbourhood both by its strengthened participation in NATO missions and operations… and by continuing support for the partner countries, the statement says.


The politicians also debated the trade disputes between the United States and China and the European Union.


“They agreed that it is important for such an open economy dependent on export as the Czech one to preserve liberal trade and the authority of the World Trade Organisation,” they agreed in their statement.


The Czech Republic should try to actively support liberalisation and the observance of international trade rules as well as to diversify export.


Speaking about Brexit, the supreme officials said the closest possible relations between the EU and Britain should be preserved. The Czech Republic supports the joint positions of the EU 27 in the talks on the Brexit conditions.


“The priorities were and still are the preservation of the EU internal market and the indivisibility of its four freedoms,” their statement points out.