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Zaorálek: Czechs want deeper economic cooperation with Israel

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Jerusalem, April 4 (CTK correspondent) – The Czech Republic seeks an enhancement of its economic cooperation with Israel, it is interested in railway contracts, the purchase of a radar and the training of Czech doctors, Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said at a meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Monday.

He said the goals of his current visit to Israel include the preparation of a joint meeting of the Czech and Israeli cabinets that is to take place in Prague on May 19.

Zaoralek said Prague is interested in joining projects in Israeli in energy, infrastructure, the building of railways and in the construction industry.

“We would like to use some of your medical treatment methods. We are considering asking Israel for courses to train our doctors,” Zaoralek said.

He said the growing of cannabis for medical purposes is one of the possible branches of Czech-Israeli cooperation.

In Israel, patients’ growing cannabis has been legal since 1991.

At the beginning of his meeting with Zaoralek, Rivlin said his family has also its roots in the present Czech Republic.

He praised bilateral diplomatic relations and said it is important and good to accept criticism from friends, because the opinions of an allied country, such as the Czech Republic, contribute to progress in bilateral relations.

The Czech Republic is a close ally of Israel, but it is critical of the latter’s policy of settlements building.

Rivlin and Zaoralek discussed the situation in the neighbouring countries, mainly Syria, from where several millions of refugees have fled to countries such as Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon in the past months.

Commenting on Israelis’ coexistence with Palestinians, Rivlin said the Jews have returned back to the land of their ancestors, which the Palestinians must recognise.

On the other hand, the Jews must understand that Palestinians live in the region, that they were born there, Rivlin said.

Rivlin supports the idea of one state, common for both the Israelis and Palestinians.

Zaoralek also met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu spoke about the proposed meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority, who called on Netanyahu to conduct the talks on Friday.

Netanyahu said he would invite Abbas for the meeting and would cancel his programme for this week over the affair.

He added that Abbas could come any day and he would be there.

Netanyahu said his door was always open for discussions.

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