Saturday, 16 December 2017

Steve King is new US ambassador to Czech Republic

ČTK |
7 December 2017

Prague, Dec 6 (CTK) - Republican businessman Steve King has become the new U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic, handing his credentials to President Milos Zeman at Prague Castle on Wednesday.

The ceremony was attended by King's wife Karen and representatives of the U.S. embassy. Zeman and King talked together for about half an hour.

The previous ambassador of the United States to the Czech Republic was Andrew Schapiro who was appointed by former president Barack Obama. He left his post in January 2017, after Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election. The embassy was temporarily headed by Kelly Adams Smith.

Zeman had tense relations with Schapiro. In reaction to the ambassador's criticism, Zeman said Schapiro had the doors to Prague Castle, the president's office, closed.

After Donald Trump was elected the president in November 2016, his first wife, Czech-born Ivana Trump, expressed interest in the post. Supporting the idea, Zeman said he could not imagine a better candidate for the post than her. However, Ivana Trump rejected the offer eventually.

The U.S. Senate approved King's nomination for the post in November.

King, 76, is a long-term member of the Republican Party for which Trump was elected, and he worked in its leadership. King has no direct political contacts with Trump, according to American commentators.

Unlike Schapiro, King has no link to the Czech Republic.

Zeman Wednesday received the credentials from new ambassadors of Malaysia (Zanariah Zainal Abidin), Tunisia (Karima Bardaoui) and Lebanon (Rola Hamdan).

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