published: 11.09.2013, 16:44 | updated: 11.09.2013 17:27:26
Prague - The Czech Republic's policy towards Israel should be more balanced and fairer than now, Social Democrat (CSSD) shadow foreign minister Lubomir Zaoralek told journalists.
However, the traditionally good relations with Israel should survive, Zaoralek said.
Zaoralek voiced doubts about Czech troops' participation in the U.N. peacekeeping mission at the Golan Heights.
This was recently proposed by President Milos Zeman.
Austria recently said due to the worsened security situation it would pull out its troops from the UNDOF observer mission at the Golan Heights.
"As the situation in Syria is rather unclear, I believe that the filling of the security vacuum by Czech troops might markedly raise the prestige of the Czech Republic," Zeman said at the end of August.
The two countries' relations should not change even if a new leftist government comes to power in the Czech Republic, new Israeli ambassador to the Czech Republic Gary Koren told CTK today.
The latest polls give a clear lead to the Social Democrats for the October 25-26 early election.
Koren said Israeli-Czech relations were warm.
He said he believed that thanks to the shared values they would not change even if a Social Democrat one-colour government, backed by Communists, were formed after the election.
The leftist parties are more critical of Israel's policy than the Czech right that ruled for the past seven years.
Koren is scheduled to meet Czech outgoing Foreign Minister Jan Kohout next week.
Koren said he would like to meet the new prime minister and foreign minister.
He said he would like the new ruling team to continue with joint meetings of the two countries' governments.
Koren said the continuation of the mechanism could be a test of the attitude of the next Czech government.
Another such a meeting could be held next spring in Jerusalem, Koren said.
Koren said Israel viewed Zeman's proposal to deploy Czech troops in the U.N. Golan Heights mission very positively.
If further soldiers were needed in the UNDOF mission, Israel would certainly welcome it, Koren said.
He said as the number of soldiers in the mission now corresponded with its mandate, Czech participation in it would not be probably needed, however.
Zaoralek said he believed the peace process in the Middle East only had a chance with the help of a balanced policy that entailed relations with Palestine.
He said the Czech Republic, widely considered one of Israel's closest allies, had not applied an absolutely balanced approach in the past years.
If it wants to keep a chance of being a certain mediator, it should play a much more balanced and fairer role, Zaoralek said.
As far as the U.N. Golan Heights mission is concerned, Zaoralek said this would not be a good use of Czech soldiers' capabilities.
The U.N. missions are usually given a weak mandate, which makes them risky, he added.
The UNDOF mission has been at the Golan Heights, a Syrian territory occupied by Israel, since 1974.
Zaoralek said he welcomed the latest developments in the fighting in Syria as it enhanced the hope that the situation would be resolved diplomatically.
Zaoralek went on to outline the Social Democrats' main foreign political priorities.
They include an active and responsible membership of the EU, NATO and the United Nations, a change to the Czech Republic's behaviour in the EU and an emphasis on human rights. The Social Democrats believe social and economic rights are among them.
Zaoralek mentioned the importance of economic diplomacy and the need of a joint foreign strategy of the president, the prime minister and individual ministers.
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