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President Zeman leaves for visits to Vietnam, Kazakhstan

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Prague, June 5 (CTK) – Czech President Milos Zeman leaves today for a visit to Vietnam where he will meet president Tran Dai Quang and then he will continue to Kazakhstan to attend the Expo 2017 opening and have some bilateral talks.

Zeman will stay in Vietnam from Tuesday until Thursday.

He and his Vietnamese counterpart are to discuss the abolition of Vietnamese visas for Czech tourists, a direct air connection between the Czech Republic and Vietnam as well as business relations and some Czech investments that met with difficulties in Vietnam.

They may also touch upon the large Vietnamese minority in the Czech Republic, its successful integration as well as some problems with its criminal activities, mainly drug production.

After the meeting, the bilateral agreements on police cooperation and on the extradition of convicts will be signed. Due to the latter agreement, Justice Minister Robert Pelikan (ANO) will accompany Zeman to Vietnam.

Before the talks in the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Zeman will lay a wreath at the War Memorial to national heroes who died in the Vietnamese wars.

He plans to meet representatives of the Vietnamese government, parliament and the Communist party.

Zeman will also attend a Czech-Vietnamese business forum.

He is accompanied by a big business mission of the Czech Confederation of Industry. Representatives of other Czech firms will join his delegation on the spot.

Another business seminar will take place in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, but Zeman will not fly there.

Based on the experience from a recent visit to China where Zeman looked very tired after his busy schedule, the Presidential Office is trying to reduce Zeman’s programme.

Instead of going to Ho Chi Minh City, the government plane will fly to Astana where Zeman will attend bilateral talks with Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev and new Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. He replaced the authoritarian Islam Karimov who died last year. Zeman is supposed to discuss primarily economic affairs with both presidents.

He may also meet Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

In the evening, Zeman will attend the official opening of the Expo 2017 international exhibition that focuses on the future of energy this year.

He will open the Czech pavilion at Expo on Friday. A dominant exhibit in the two-storey building will be the concept of a sport plane with an electric engine.

The budget of the Czech Republic’s participation in Expo is put at 98.2 million crowns. The main issues of the exhibition are lowering emissions and energy efficiency.

Zeman and his wife Ivana will return to the Czech Republic on Saturday, June 10.

($1=23.501 crowns)

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