Saudi Arabia angered by Czech president’s anti-Muslim statements

The Czech ambassador to Riyad, Jiří Slavík, was summoned to the Saudi Foreign Ministry on Sunday to hear a complaint about President Miloš Zeman's anti-Muslim statements, the daily Lidové noviny reported on Friday. According to the paper the ambassador heard a resolute complaint about a number of the president’s statements the most recent of which pertained to the attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels. Speaking at an Israeli reception President Zeman noted that Islamic ideology was behind such violent attacks. The Czech Foreign Ministry has expressed concern over what it described as heightened tension in Czech-Saudi relations. Foreign Minister Zaorálek said he had invited Arab ambassadors to the Czech Foreign Ministry next week and would discuss the matter with them.

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka reacted to the news on Friday saying that the president’s statements should not be blown out of proportion and that he had no indication that Saudi Arabia was considering economic sanctions against the Czech Republic over the issue.