Czech Prime Minister Sobotka to visit USA, Israel


03.07.2014 15:10

Prague - Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka will visit USA in November where he will attend unveiling of former president Vaclav Havel's bust in the U.S. Congress and he will also go to Israel at the end of the year, Sobotka told CTK today.


Premiér Bohuslav Sobotka. ČTK Krumphanzl Michal

Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) said the unveiling was a sign of great respect for the late president and also honour to the Czech Republic.

While in Israel, Sobotka and some ministers will continue with the joint meetings of governments of the Czech Republic and Israel.

Havel's bust in the Capitol building will be unveiled on the 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in the former Czechoslovakia and the third anniversary of the death of Havel, a dissident and playwright.

In 1990, Havel delivered one of his most famous speeches before the U.S. Congress.

"I think that it is indispensable for a prime minister to attend such an important event," Sobotka said, adding that he would be accompanied by the Chamber of Deputies chairman Jan Hamacek (CSSD).

Sobotka did not elaborate on the programme of the visit during which he might meet U.S. President Barack Obama.

The visit to Israel is to be held before the end of the year, Sobotka said.

"We want to follow up the tradition of joint meetings of Czech and Israeli governments," Sobotka said.

The first such a meeting was held in Prague in May 2012.

Another one, that was to be attended by former prime minister Petr Necas (Civic Democratic Party, ODS) and Benjamin Netanyahu was to take place in Israel last summer, but due to the fall of Necas's government it was called off.

The Czech Republic is widely considered one of the biggest allies of Israel.

Sobotka said even though the Czech Republic was trying to develop good relations with Arab countries, the Jewish state was still an important and traditional partner for it.

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