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Czech News in English » News » National » ForMin: Prague may wait long for new US ambassador

ForMin: Prague may wait long for new US ambassador

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Prague, Jan 14 (CTK) – Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (Social Democrats, CSSD) fears that Prague will wait long for a new U.S.ambassador, he told reporters after a five-hour meeting with President Milos Zeman and his advisers for foreign affairs in the Lany chateau on Saturday.

He said he considered the whole situation where U.S. President-elect Donald Trump dismissed all ambassadors unprecedented. This had never happened before, he added.

It might last long until the U.S. Congress approves the new ambassadors proposed by Trump, Zaoralek said.

Asked whether the new U.S. ambassador to Prague would assume the post by the end of the year, Zaoralek said he was not sure about that. “However, I do not want to be completely sceptical,” he added.

The New York Times has reported, referring to diplomatic sources, that many U.S. ambassadors will have to leave their posts before Trump’s inauguration on January 20.

U.S. Ambassador Andrew Schapiro, who has not ranked among Zeman’s favourites, is leaving the Czech Republic after the election of Trump.

Like about one-third of U.S. ambassadors, Schapiro is a political ambassador, having been directly named by outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama on the basis of a personal relationship.

Former Czech ambassador to the USA Alexandr Vondra has said that political ambassadors mostly resign and their posts are assumed by someone else if a new president comes.

Zaoralek also said after Saturday’s talks that he welcomed the invitation to the White House that Zeman had received from Trump last December.

Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek said previously relations with the United States were crucial for the Czech Republic as a member of the EU and NATO.

While relations between Zeman and the U.S. administration were quite lukewarm under Barack Obama’s presidency, they are expected to improve with Trump’s arrival in the White Hose.

Shortly after Trump’s election, speculations emerged saying Trump’s former wife, Czech-born Ivana Trump, might replace Schapiro in the post. Even Zeman supported her possible nomination. She confirmed her interest in becoming ambassador to the Czech Republic..

Until Schapiro’s successor takes up the post, the embassy in Prague will be headed by Deputy Chief of the Mission Kelly Adams-Smith, the U.S. Department of State has said.

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