In an address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York on
Tuesday, the Czech president, Miloš Zeman, told the gathered world leaders
that the world community was still hesitant to fully engage in the war
Mr. Zeman said the United Nations required a strong agency that would be capable of also employing military force to combat what he called “terrorist anti-civilisation”.
The Czech head of state said some terrorists were active under cover of mass migration, a trend that he also said was causing a brain drain from undeveloped African states.
The Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan is home to some 80,000 refugees. Even with international aid pouring in, living conditions in the camp are extremely harsh. Last year the Czech government sent 40 million crowns to Jordan to finance housing units for some 2,000 refugees. Aid money earmarked this year is being used for the camps electrification. And Jordan is one of the countries targeted by the Czech government’s humanitarian medical aid program MEDEVAC, thanks to which around a thousand patients will be operated on this year. I spoke to Jordanian
The German president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, made his first official to
Prague on Tuesday. After being welcomed at Prague Castle with full military
honours by Miloš Zeman, Mr. Steinmeier and his Czech counterpart discussed
a range of issues, including refugees.
Mr. Zeman reiterated his opposition to the Czech Republic being forced to take in migrants by the European Union, while Mr. Steinmeier said it was important that the European Court’s ruling on the matter be respected.
In what was a brief meeting, the two heads of state also spoke about business cooperation between their two states, transport infrastructure and the UK’s planned exit from the European Union
Interior Minister Milan Chovanec has rejected criticism from Brussels that
the Czech Republic had failed to meet its EU obligations by refusing to
take in the migrants allotted to it under the mandatory quota
In a letter to the EU commissioner for migration, minister Chovanec said the Czech Republic was helping in other ways and was one of the most active countries in doing so.
He noted that since 2015 the Czech Republic had sent 68 experts to the so called hotspots to help with the registration of refugees, over 5,000 Czech police officers have helped protect the borders of Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia and other states and the Czech Republic has sent 640 million crowns in aid to Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon to help deal with the migrant crisis.
The Czech Foreign Ministry is releasing five million crowns in emergency
aid to the victims of hurricane Harvey, the ministry said on its website.
The money should go to buy water, food, medicines and hygiene supplies.
Czech Catholic charities are also sending aid. The Czech Bishops conference said it was sending 23,000 dollars to the Archdiocese on Galevston-Houston. There is a large community of Czech expats living in Texas.
The Czech Republic and Italy are preparing a joint project to help migrants
from Ivory Coast, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka told journalists after
meeting his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni on Thursday.
The Czech Republic is to contribute with roughly one million euros to the project, helping to improve the living conditions of the people who are returned from other countries to Ivory Coast.
The Czech Republic has been against the redistribution of refugees from the very beginning and has only accepted 12 of the 2,000 it had been designated by the EU.
The European Court of Justice has dismissed Slovakia and Hungary’s legal challenge to the system of mandatory migrant quotas, devised by the EC as a means of dealing with the migrant crisis. The Czech Republic, which is also one of the countries rejecting the forced distribution of migrants, says the ruling will make no difference to its stand.
President Miloš Zeman says it would be better for the Czech Republic not
to receive subsidies from the European Union than to be forced by the EU to
accept refugees, the website Parlamentní listy reported on Wednesday.
Speaking to locals in the town of Český Těšín in the east of the country, Mr. Zeman said that following the European Court’s rejection of a complaint against migrant quotas from Slovakia and Hungary the Czech Republic would be forced to accept several thousand Muslim migrants under threat of a reduction in subsidies.
The president said, however, that Czechs should not give in to threats. If it comes to the worst, it is always better to surrender EU grants than allow in migrants, he said.
Several dozen people gathered in the centre of Prague on Saturday to protest against the persecutions of Falun Gong practitioners in China. The demonstrators, accompanied by the Falun Gong's Tian Guo Marching Band, walked from Wenceslas Square to Kampa island. Falun Gong is an ancient Chinese spiritual practice combining meditation and qigong exercises. It was banned by the Chinese Communist Party in 1999 and its followers have been severely persecuted.
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