Canadian foreign minister assures Prague there are no plans for reintroducing visas

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird has assured Prague that Canada is not planning on reintroducing visas for Czech citizens; he made the point in a meeting with his Czech counterpart Lubomír Zaorálek in Prague on Tuesday. Canada reinstated visas in 2009 after registering a rise in asylum seekers from the Czech Republic; the visas were only lifted last November. Czech Foreign Minister Zaorálek said the former visas had been a barrier to broader cooperation between Canada and the Czech Republic. Mr Baird confirmed it would be difficult to boost trade and investment were visas still in place, noting that Canada signed an historic trade agreement with the EU last year.