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Zeman wants to lift age limit for Czech diplomats

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Prague, Oct 6 (CTK) – Czech President Milos Zeman is negotiating about an amendment to the civil service law to enable diplomats to stay in service after turning 70, he said in an interview with CTK Tuesday.

The talks on the amendment are results of Zeman’s effort to prevent current Ambassador to Syria Eva Filipi from leaving the post. Zeman praised her work as excellent.

The Czech embassy is one of the few diplomatic missions of Western countries operating in Damascus now.

“I consider the dismissal of ambassador Filipi from Damascus a potential gross mistake of Czech diplomacy and I will do my utmost to prevent it,” Zeman said.

However, the new civil service law does not open space to any other possibility for the ambassadors over 70, but to end.

This is why Zeman wants to amend the law.

“We are discussing a possible slight amendment to the civil service law concerning foreign service,” Zeman added.

The age limit for ambassadors set by the civil service law applies also to Czech Ambassador to Slovakia Livia Klausova, wife of Zeman’s predecessor Vaclav Klaus. She will turn 72 years in November.

Filipi and Klausova should leave their posts at the end of the year.

However, Zeman, 71, is of the view that the execution of a post should not be made conditional on age.

“Shimon Peres occupied the post of Israeli president at the age of 90 and he executed it very well,” Zeman noted.

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