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Archive for Czech Republic

Newsline: Czech Republic Considering Moving Embassy to Jerusalem

The Czech Republic is considering moving its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, following a similar move by the United States earlier this year. The opening of a Czech cultural center in Jerusalem in November could be understood as a “first step,” a spokesman for President Milos Zeman said. He added that the move could only happen “in accordance with international law.” The United States riled Palestinians when it moved the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May. Zeman, the most important supporter of the plan to move the embassy to Jerusalem, is expected to hold an official visit to Israel in November.

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/czech-republic-considering-moving-embassy-to-jerusalem-1.6468901

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Newsline: Czech ambassador to the U.S. once killed a crocodile with a knife

The homes of ambassadors are often decorated with expensive art, historical photographs and fancy awards. But Czech Ambassador Hynek Kmoníček’s residence in Washington, D.C. is more like a zoo for dead animals. Throughout his diplomatic career, Kmoníček has sharpened his hunting skills. He has served all over the world and has the trophies to prove it: a kangaroo from Australia, a snake from India, a crocodile from Sudan, a wolf from Mongolia. “Are you a real man or just another European?” says Kmoníček with a laugh, imitating skeptical greetings when he gets to a country for the first time. “So sometimes you have to prove yourself. Sometimes the poor animal will be the victim.” Kmoníček became the Czech Republic’s top diplomat in the U.S. last year and says that his time working outside of the US and Europe has made him numb “sudden changes.” “With my previous diplomatic experience, it was clear it is very hard to surprise me,” he explains. “President Trump obviously announced that he intentionally wants to be unpredictable and I understand that for some bureaucrats it could be a tough thing, because diplomats love predictability.” When he was in Sudan, Kmoníček caught a crocodile and slaughtered it with a knife. He learned the process by watching his Sudanese diplomatic counterparts, who he says were more than a foot taller than him. They told him to aim the knife for the animal’s blind spot right between its eyes.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/czech-ambassador-to-the-u-s-once-killed-a-crocodile-with-a-knife/

Newsline: Czech Republic Won’t Relocate Israeli Embassy to Jerusalem

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babi said this week his country will not break UN and EU policy and relocate their embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Babi also said that his country is examining the possibility of relocating their cultural center from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem instead. The possibly of opening an honorary consulate in Jerusalem is also being examined – even though one already exists. Israel’s Foreign Ministry has said in the past that the Czech Republic may move its embassy to Jerusalem and Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely is planning to visit the country soon to try to convince them to do so.

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/czech-won-t-relocate-israeli-embassy-to-jerusalem-pm-says-1.6013735

Newsline: Czechs to open honorary consulate in Jerusalem

The Czech Republic will open a new honorary consulate in Jerusalem in the next few months, the country’s acting prime minister, Andrej Babiš, said on Friday. He added that the government was considering opening a Czech Centre in the city during a planned visit to Israel by the Czech president, Miloš Zeman, at the end of 2018. Mr. Zeman has for some time backed the idea of moving the Czech Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. However, Mr. Babiš rejected that idea in December when US leader Donald Trump announced a similar intention. The United Nations and the EU insist on a two-state solution under which Jerusalem would one day be the capital of both Israel and a future Palestinian state. Mr. Babiš said opening a Czech Centre in the city would not contradict that position.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/news/czechs-to-open-honorary-consulate-in-jerusalem

Newsline: Romania, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic consider moving their embassies to Jerusalem

The President of the ruling Social Democratic Party of Romania, Liviu Dragnea, is proposing the move of the country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Speaker of the Parliament apparently did not consult the foreign ministry in making a statement to this effect. Despite the expression of dismay from Romania’s Deputy Foreign Minister Amal Jado. According to Jado, the move would be against international law and would break ranks with UN Security Council Resolution 478 and the European Union. However, Romania already broke ranks with the European Union on December 21st, abstaining from the General Assembly vote that condemned US President Donald Trump for moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Romania was joined by the Visegrad Four — Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic — as well as Croatia and Latvia. Dragnea insists this is a practical move since the government of Israel seats in Jerusalem. Officially, Romania is still committed to a two-state solution in the Middle East. Romania is not alone. Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Tzipi Hotovely has a list of ten countries Israel hopes will follow Washington’s lead. On Thursday the Times of Israel published a number of countries included on the list, including three EU member states: Romania, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.

https://www.neweurope.eu/article/romania-slovakia-czech-republic-consider-moving-embassies-jerusalem/

Newsline: Trump Ambassador to Czech Republic Beat and ‘Kidnapped’ Woman in Watergate Cover-Up

American presidents have a long history of awarding ambassadorships to colorful characters as a way to thank them for their campaign donations. Roughly a third of U.S. ambassadors have no diplomatic experience beyond rounding up cash for successful presidential candidates. Among them is Stephen King, 76, a longtime confidante and booster of House Speaker Paul Ryan, who is the new U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic. King, who is also a former business partner of Ryan’s brother Tobin, has no diplomatic experience and had never spent a day in Prague before taking up his post there on December 7. Radio Prague, the official state news outlet, called him “a rich Republican businessman…who worked for the FBI early in his career.” Left unsaid was that King played a crucial role in the 1972 Watergate affair—and not a good one. According to several accounts over the years, King helped cover up ties between President Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign and the burglars arrested inside the Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate complex—and in a particularly violent fashion. None of that came up during his confirmation hearing. In June 1972, King was an ex-FBI agent working as a security aide for the Committee to Re-elect the President, or CREEP, Nixon’s campaign arm. His duty on the week of the break-in was to protect—and keep a close eye on—Martha Mitchell, the talkative wife of Nixon’s campaign director and former attorney general John Mitchell, while the Mitchells were on a campaign swing in California. An outspoken Arkansan dubbed “the Mouth of the South” in press reports, Martha Mitchell had been complaining vaguely to anyone who would listen about campaign operatives carrying out “dirty tricks” against the Democrats. So when she learned that James McCord, the security director of CREEP, who had served as her bodyguard, was among those arrested at the Watergate—and described by her husband as a private security contractor who was “not operating either on our behalf or with our consent”—she picked up the telephone and called a favorite reporter, UPI’s Helen Thomas. Enter King. He “rushed into her bedroom, threw her back across the bed, and ripped the telephone out of the wall,” wrote veteran Washington reporter Winzola McLendon in her 1979 biography of Martha Mitchell, to whom she was close. But Thomas was still on the phone and taking notes. “The conversation ended abruptly when it appeared someone took away the phone from her hand,” Thomas reported. “She was heard to say, ‘You just get away.’” A veteran crime reporter, Kramer described Mitchell as “a beaten woman,” with “incredible” black and blue marks on her arms from what looked like a “totally professional job.” A later account in McCall’s magazine said that King “summoned” a doctor who gave Mitchell “a tranquilizing shot” and “[saw] to it that no more of her outgoing calls [would] be taken by the hotel switchboard.” When Mitchell learned that King had been promoted to security chief for the campaign, she wrote a letter to Parade magazine, the Sunday newspaper supplement, saying that he “not only dealt me the most horrible experience I have ever had, but inflicted bodily harm upon me.” Mitchell told The New York Times. “I was not only kidnapped but I was threatened at gunpoint, and you can put that in.” During his August 1 confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, King was not asked about his role in allegedly roughing up Mitchell to keep her from exposing McCord’s connection to CREEP. On Monday, King said, “With due respect to the privacy of the Mitchell family and in light of previous responses I have given to these allegations in decades past, I do not wish to comment further on this old story.”

http://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-watergate-stephen-king-martha-mitchell-richard-nixon-john-744823

Newsline: Czech Republic denies embassy transfer to Jerusalem

The Czech Republic affirmed commitment to the European Union’s policy regarding the Palestinian issue and the status of the city of Jerusalem and denied media reports of embassy transfer. According to a statement issued by the Czech Republic foreign ministry, Jerusalem is considered by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Union as the future capital of two states, Israel and Palestine. The statement by the Czech Foreign Ministry stated that the Czech Republic had recognized West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel before the signing of the peace agreement and didn’t adopt the new American position, or the Israeli claim, of the whole of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. “We did not formally consider it as the capital, so as not to preempt the solution that the two sides must reach,” the Czech minister said.

http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=HMpJhpa95529352116aHMpJhp