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Czechs, Germans to form working group on migration

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Prague, Nov 9 (CTK) – Germany and the Czech Republic will form a working group to deal with migration, to be headed by former Czech prime minister Vladimir Spidla, Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (both Social Democrats, CSSD) has said, confirming the information carried by the daily Lidove noviny (LN) yesterday.
The group is to bridge the “gap” that has appeared between the two countries over the migrant crisis.
“This will be a working group that will deal with the question of migration,” Zaoralek said.
The closer discussion with Germany, a key EU country, is to help Prague estimate the future developments, Zaoralek said.
“Since Germany plays such a vital role in this affair, we would like to coordinate our future steps with it,” he added.
“We should know what to expect exactly so that we are not caught by surprise by the situation next time,” Zaoralek said.
Berlin’s approach to the migrant wave strongly differs from that adopted by Prague. Germany insists on the mandatory quotas for refugees redistribution that the Czech Republic rejects.
Some diplomats say the disharmony has strongly affected the two countries’ relations.
Zaoralek told CTK that it was Prague that had expressed interest in the detailed consultations relating to the migration and further steps planned by Germany.
The exact form of the group is not yet clear.
However, it is already known that it will be headed by Spidla whose positions on the migration are sometimes closer to those held by German representatives than a part of the Czech government.
“We have decided to choose Spidla because he was strongly involved in the shaping of German-Czech relations in the past. He is a well-known and suitable personality,” Zaoralek said.

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