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Minister not going to China, meeting cancelled

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Prague, Nov 1 (CTK) – Czech Agriculture Minister Marian Jurecka (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) will not leave for his planned visit to China on Thursday because the members of the Chinese government whom he was to meet cancelled the meeting, he said on public Czech Television (CT) on Tuesday.

Jurecka is an advocate of Culture Minister Daniel Herman (KDU-CSL) who met the Tibetan Dalai Lama in Prague in September.

Jurecka was to have talks with his Chinese counterpart and the minister for water resources.

“The trip will not take place because our embassy in Beijing was informed that the two ministers have cancelled the meeting with me,” Jurecka told CT.

“According to the explanation, the meeting was cancelled for reasons that both sides definitely completely understand,” Jurecka said.

He said the meeting was prepared for several weeks ahead.

Jurecka said he is convinced that the meetings were cancelled in consequence of the recent developments, including a meeting between Herman and the Dalai Lama.

“Judging by the explanation our colleagues at the embassy in Beijing received, I dare to claim that this is clearly so,” Jurecka told CT.

On Monday, the Agriculture Ministry told CTK about Jurecka’s trip that “the participation of the minister has been postponed because the Chinese side did not confirm the reception on the ministerial level well in advance. The visit to China will take place on the date planned, the delegation will be headed by Deputy Minister Ales Kendik.”

Jurecka supported Herman, who met the Dalai Lama in his office on October 18. Some Czech politicians criticised Herman for this, saying he threatened Czech-Chinese relations.

President Milos Zeman, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and the heads of the two houses of parliament, Milan Stech (Senate) and Jan Hamacek (Chamber of Deputies), issued a statement, in which they said the meeting of several Czech politicians with the Dalai Lama does mean any change in the Czech Republic’s official policy.

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