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President Zeman to visit Poland next week

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Prague, April 30 (CTK) – President Milos Zeman will pay an official visit to Poland on May 9-11 and meet Polish top political representatives including President Adrzej Duda, Czech Presidential Office foreign affairs section head Rudolf Jindrak told CTK.

Zeman will also have talks with Prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki and the heads of both houses of parliament, the Sejm and the Senate.

This will be Zeman’s second trip abroad after his re-election earlier this year. In April, he visited Slovakia.

Jindrak said he expects Zeman to discuss bilateral relations and cooperation with the Polish political leaders.

The talks might deal with the consultations of the Czech and Polish governments. The cabinets of the two countries might have a joint meeting in Prague this year, Jindrak said.

The Polish and Czech cabinets had their latest meeting in Warsaw two years ago.

Jindrak said Poland and the Czech Republic had a common interest concerning the financing of the European Union and the distribution of subsidies from EU funds.

Another major issue may be that of minorities, he said.

Zeman is to meet the representatives of the Polish minority living in the Czech Republic during his tour of the Moravia-Silesia Region shortly after his return from Poland, Jindrak said.

Zeman and Duda have already met several times. The most recently, Duda visited the Czech Republic in March 2016 and Zeman was in Poland at a meeting of the presidents of the Visegrad Four countries, including also Hungary and Slovakia, in October 2016.

On Friday, May 11, Zeman will visit the UNESCO-listed Bialowieza Forest in eastern Poland.

Last year, the European Commission took Poland to the European Court of Justice over logging in the ancient forest. Poland argued that the logging protected the forest from the bark beetle outbreak. The court decided in mid-April that Poland violated laws.

Jindrak said Zeman wanted to see the forest still before the court issued its verdict. Zeman was interested in the fight against bark beetle infestation, he said.

In the Sumava Mountains that form the Czech side of the border with Austria and Germany, Zeman supported logging as a measure to stop the bark bettle.

Same as the Czech Republic, Poland celebrates 100 years from the declaration of its independent state.

Poland is one of the most important business partners for the Czech Republic. According to the Czech Presidential Office, about 480 Czech firms operate in Poland. More than 200 partnerships between Czech and Polish towns and villages have been registered.

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