Prague, Oct 4 (CTK) – Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (Social Democrats, CSSD) compared relations between states to human relations in his opening speech at a two-day international conference on Czech foreign policy on Wednesday.
It is worth speaking even about football in diplomacy since this helps establish personal contacts, he said.
Politicians and diplomats are responsible for maintaining bonds and preventing barriers between countries, he added.
“It is easy to create barriers between states, even neighbouring countries, in the current world. Especially during a crisis when we tend to return to solving problems on our own,” Zaoralek said.
“In such a situation, we must turn to the relations we are establishing and prevent those dangerous barriers from being built,” he added.
Zaoralek stressed that personal contacts between diplomats and statesmen played an important role in foreign policy.
“If you say the name of a country, I recall a face,” he said.
Participants in working talks do not have to touch upon political issues only, he added.
“You may talk about football as well or about what is happening in your family. This seems nonsensical, but you may use this sometimes when the respective person then answers your phone in the night and is willing to discuss even unpleasant affairs,” Zaoralek said.
Wednesday’s symposium Czech Foreign Policy was held by the Institute of International Relations under the subtitle Responsibility in a Leaderless World.
The programme includes eight panel debates dealing with various areas of Czech foreign policy and current issues in international relations. Experts will deal with a Czech strategy towards Russia, China’s policy in the Central European region and the future of Czech-German relations, among others.