Prague - The Czech Republic's current focus on the countries as the communist China does not mean that it is abandoning the legacy of the late president Vaclav Havel with his emphasis on human rights observance in the world, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said in an interview with CTK today.
Premiér Bohuslav Sobotka poskytl 3. července v Praze rozhovor České tiskové kanceláři. ČTK Krumphanzl Michal
He also said the current government of his Social Democrats (CSSD), ANO and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) had considerably improved the Czech Republic's image in the world in the past five months. It was appointed in January 2014.
"I do not think that the government has worsened the picture of the Czech Republic in any way, on the contrary, it has improved it," Sobotka, 42, told CTK.
Thanks to this, the Czech Republic has been successful in promoting its interests in the European Union, he added.
Sobotka also commented on the recent agreement with China saying Tibet is its inseparable part and that the Czech Republic does not support its independence in any form, which provoked a sharp criticism, and some controversial statements on this issue by deputy foreign minister Petr Drulak. Sobotka said he did not consider them a deviation from Havel's legacy in foreign policy.
Only the government's approach to active economic diplomacy and defence of Czech national interests has been changing, Sobotka pointed out.
"To push through our interests, we need an ally, mainly in Europe. If we want to export goods and services, we need countries where we will be able to develop friendly relations, and we want to focus on rapidly expanding markets," Sobotka told CTK.
Business and political relations with Russia cannot be developed at present due to its March annexation of Ukrainian Crimea, he said.
"Consequently, we focus on other rapidly growing economies, such as China, India and Brazil," Sobotka explained.
However, the Czech Republic does not neglect the opportunities of export to the United States, the euro zone countries and other traditional markets, he added.
In the interview, Sobotka also touched upon the situation at the Justice Ministry, which was recently affected by disputes between Justice Minister Helena Valkova (ANO) and her deputies who left the office then.
Sobotka, who criticised Valkova two weeks ago, said the situation at the ministry had calmed down of late.
Sobotka said he would meet all ministers during the summer. Their talks will focus on the fulfilment of the government policy statement, the legislative plan and all tasks that the cabinet wants to fulfil by the year´s end.
Sobotka added that he would like to hold such one-hour meetings with the government members regularly twice a year.