Tuesday, 23 May 2017

LN: Zeman about to visit Beijing, Kremlin, White House soon

ČTK |
13 April 2017

Prague, April 12 (CTK) - Czech President Milos Zeman would like to visit the White House, the Kremlin and the Great Hall of the People in Beijing before the autumn elections to the Chamber of Deputies, daily Lidove noviny (LN) writes yesterday.

Due to the triangle within which he is to visit the presidents of the three powers, Zeman has scrapped some journeys planned before, LN writes.

So far, Zeman's trip to Beijing has been planned in the greatest detail. It will take place on May 12-19, it adds.

Zeman is supposed to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

During Xi's momentous visit to Prague last year, Zeman called him "his young friend," LN writes.

Zeman will take part in an international conference on the modern Silk Road project.

Upon return from the visit to China, Zeman will attend a NATO summit in Brussels, LN writes.

It is still uncertain when exactly Zeman will materialise his planned visit to the USA. In Zeman's schedule, there is a ten-day open space for the White House at the end of April, it adds.

Thanks to this, Zeman may be able to fly to the USA at the last minute, LN writes.

However, Zeman does not want to only be invited for a photo session. He wants to make the most of the visit to U.S. President Donald Trump, which means his being received in the White House with all honours, it adds.

"We are very patient. We will only learn the date closely before the trip takes place," Zeman's spokesman Jiri Ovcacek is quoted as saying by the paper.

"This is really only a question of the date," he added.

The details of Zeman's trip to Russia are also unclear, LN writes.

"The journey has been prepared for quite a long time, but we have not yet set any date," Rudolf Jindrak, director of the Presidential Office foreign department, is quoted as saying.

Referring to its own source, LN writes that the scenario was still in the game in which Zeman may meet Russian President Vladimir Putin while in Beijing.

Due to the planned trips, Zeman has cancelled his planned trip to Latin America, for the second time already.

Last year, Zeman's visit to the Rio Olympics was supposed to be connected with a Latin American tour, but he eventually only flew to Rio de Janeiro in August.

Besides, Zeman's planned visit to South Korea was also cancelled, Jindrak said.

On the other hand, Zeman's visit to Vietnam was confirmed. He is scheduled to fly there on June 6. On his return journey, he will have a stop over in Astana in Kazakhstan where he will open the Czech Expo pavilion on June 10.

After the summer, Zeman will travel to the U.N. session in New York in September and to the Visegrad Four (the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary) summit in Hungary.

Due to the elections to the Chamber of Deputies in autumn and Zeman's defending his post in the presidential election at the beginning of next year, this will be the end of the schedule of his foreign trips this year, LN writes.

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