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Indian president to visit Czech Republic this autumn

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Prague, April 5 (CTK) – Indian President Ram Nath Kovind will visit the Czech Republic this autumn, which will be the first visit to the country by the Indian head of state after more than 20 years, according to CTK sources.

Kovind will meet supreme political representatives, including President Milos Zeman.

Prague will also welcome other heads of state this year, such as French President Emmanuel Macron and his Croatian counterpart Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic. An autumn visit by some supreme U.S. representative is also being discussed.

India is a promising destination for Czech exporters. This is the fastest growing big economy that sees an annual GDP rise by 7-8 percent and its further rise is expected in the following years, according to Czech diplomacy’s document.

Czechs diplomacy was striving for a meeting with a supreme Indian representative for several years.

New Czech Ambassador to India Milan Hovorka was assigned in 2015 to secure a visit by the Indian president.

The Presidential Office was also willing to give up the reciprocity principle, which means that the presidents take turns in the visits to the counterpart’s country.

It was the Indian president’s turn to come to the Czech Republic, but the Presidential Office foreign section, headed then by Hynek Kmonicek, current ambassador to the USA, did not rule out that Zeman would go to India first.

The Indian president paid his last visit to the Czech Republic in October 1996 when Shankar Dayal Sharma and his wife visited Prague and Karlovy Vary, a spa town in west Bohemia.

As far as Zeman’s predecessors are concerned, Vaclav Havel paid an official visit to India in February 1994 and Vaclav Klaus was there in November 2005.

Macron is to arrive in the Czech Republic in May. He is to meet politicians as well as visit the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University in Prague.

The French president visited the Czech Republic last time November 2016 when Francois Hollande went to Prague.

Besides, Grabar-Kitarovic is to visit Prague this year. In her congratulations to Zeman after his victory in the January presidential election, she wrote that she was looking forward to her next meeting with him.

Zeman paid a visit to Croatia a year ago.

One of the U.S. top representatives, possibly U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, may visit the Czech Republic on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Czechoslovakia’s establishment this autumn.

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