Saturday, 19 April 2014

Foreign Minister disavows Klaus's aide over Osama's denial

9 May 2011

Prague, May 7 (CTK) - The statements by Petr Hajek, deputy head of President Vaclav Klaus's office, that Osama bin Laden's life and death were a media fiction, have offended the head of state of a friendly nation, Czech Foreign Minister Schwarzenberg said in a press release Saturday.

The statements have provoked harmful attention, discrediting the Czech Republic's good name and threatening its interests, Schwarzenberg said.

"I have noted with outrage that Hajek's public statements from the beginning of the week, based on fanciful conspiracy theories, have offended an ally and the head of a friendly nation," Schwarzenberg said.

"Along with this fact, they have provoked harmful attention especially abroad, discredited the good name of the Czech Republic and threatened its interests," he added.

"If it were a sign of a private person's lack of judgement or twisted mind, we could take it into account with regret or ignore it tacitly," Schwarzenberg said.

"However, as these are statements by a senior state official, I must absolutely reject them," Schwarzenberg said.

Hajek, who is considered one of Klaus's closest aides, said bin Laden's life and death were a mere media fiction.

"It is a modern fairy-tale for adults, the good and the evil. Let's believe, if we want," Hajek told the server Parlamentni on Monday.

Hajek previously said he believed that the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, might have been organised by the U.S. secret services.

The server wrote on Friday the USA wanted apology for Hajek's words, considering it an insult of President Barack Obama.

"The U.S. Administration in Washington has asked representatives of Czech diplomacy to make the Czech government distance itself officially from Hajek's statements," s wrote, referring to diplomatic sources.

The server wrote on Friday the Czech Foreign Ministry had not dealt with any request to this effect from the USA.

"In my view, Klaus has clearly voiced his position on Osama bin Ladin, which has resolved everything," Foreign Ministry spokesman Vit Kolar said.

On Monday, Schwarzenberg told Czech Television he listened to Hajek's statements with amusement.

"No one even abroad takes this seriously as a statement by the Czech Republic," Schwarzenberg told CT.

Schwarzenberg said on Wednesday Klaus's head of office Jiri Weigl was responsible for Hajek.

"When choosing my spokesmen, I am guided by common sense," Schwarzenberg added.

On Wednesday, Klaus distanced himself from what Hajek said.

"I consider his statement unfortunate. The man who made it evidently did not fully think of its impact, including its fair or unfair interpretations," Klaus said.

Klaus said Hajek had not wanted to evaluate the real event, that occurred in Abbottabad, Pakistan, but tried to "challenge the media halo created around the person of Osama bin Laden and his death."

Klaus said there was the problem that Hajek's statement had prompted some speculations about his own position on the affair.

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