published: 25.09.2013, 10:53 | updated: 25.09.2013 11:06:56
Prague - Czech President Milos Zeman will not take part in the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York and Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok will fly to the United States today instead, Zeman´s spokeswoman Hana Burianova told CTK.
Rusnok will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Jan Kohout and Defence Minister Vlastimil Picek.
"The president believes that it is the prime minister who should go to events such as the U.N. summit," Burianova said.
Zeman will launch his visit to the South Moravian Region whose governor, Social Democrat (CSSD) deputy chairman Michal Hasek, is considered his political ally.
Zeman is honorary chairman of the small the Party of Citizens´ Right-the Zemanites (SPOZ) that would like to enter parliament in the forthcoming general election. Zeman previously dismissed the view that his tour of Czech regions before the late October election is a sort of an election campaign and repeatedly said he as president is "above parties."
Previous president Vaclav Klaus regularly visited the U.N. General Assembly meetings in New York.
In 2012, Klaus challenged the effectiveness of the international peacekeeping missions and negotiating teams. In 2011, he rejected unilateral steps in the Israeli-Palestine dispute, supported nuclear energy and called on Europe to cooperate with new North African regimes.
According to the U.N. website over 80 heads of states will participate in the summit this week, including the presidents of Austria, France, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine.
At the summit, Rusnok will deliver an address on nuclear disarmament on Thursday and he will present the next year priorities of the Czech Republic for the United Nations on Friday.
Picek will visit the Czech embassy in Washington today. On Thursday he will have talks with the heads of the Texas National Guard and the Nebraska National Guard. On Friday, Picek will meet top U.N. officials for military affairs.
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