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Czech, French presidents to meet in Prague on July 20

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Prague, July 8 (CTK) – French President Francois Hollande will meet his counterpart Milos Zeman and Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka during his visit to Prague on July 20, Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek and the Czech Government Office on Friday.

The two presidents met in Paris in September 2014. Zeman then invited Hollande to Prague.

“The two statesmen can be expected to discuss current affairs relating to the EU, fight against international terrorism and economic cooperation,” Ovcacek said.

Sobotka and Hollande will talk about the British departure from the European Union and a EU reform, the development of Czech-French business relations and other issues, the Government Office said.

Due to the visit, Zeman will interrupt his holiday and return from his summer resort in the Vysocina Region to the Prague Castle, seat of Czech heads of state.

Hollande’s visit to Prague was planned in January 2015, within the celebration of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp that partly took place in the Czech Republic, but Hollande finally excused himself.

In March, Sobotka had talks with Hollande in Paris, discussing the security situation in Europe, cooperation between secret services and the migration crisis.

France has been one of the five most important Czech business partners for a long time. France represents about 4 percent of the turnover of the Czech foreign trade.

The Czech Republic is not a frequent destination of French top representatives.

In December 1993, the Czech Republic was visited by President Francois Mitterrand and in April 1997 by his successor Jacques Chirac.

Chirac also attended the December 2002 NATO summit in Prague.

In June 2008, French President Nicolas Sarkozy paid a visit to the meeting of the prime ministers of Visegrad Four (Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic).

Mitterrand’s visit to the former Communist Czechoslovakia in December 1988 was of a momentous importance for the developments just before the overthrow of the Communist regime.

Mitterrand had a breakfast with dissidents in Prague and as the first Western statesman officially met opponents of the Communist regime.

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