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Zeman supports Silk Road project at conference in Beijing

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Prague/Beijing (CTK) – The project of a new Silk Road might bring a great stimulus to the economic growth, an inflow of new investments and a new value added, Czech President Milos Zeman said in his speech at the Silk Road conference in Beijing on Monday, which was released on his office’s website.

Zeman also said that some form of a steering commission must be created to coordinate this project.

It is clear that China and Russia will be members of this commission, but as far as the European Union (EU) is concerned, there is a slight problem since the more partners you have, the more complications there are, Zeman said.

If there are 28 or after Brexit only 27 partners, this means a hitch, Zeman said.

In this connection he also recalled the ironic question of former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger about Europe’s phone number: “Who do I call if I want to call Europe?”

There are still 27 phone numbers of the EU, Zeman said.

This is why this fascinating Silk Road project might also have an unintended effect of a deeper integration of the EU that is still more or less disintegrated and Brexit is only an illustration of this disintegration, Zeman said in his speech.

The two-day international conference on a new Silk Road was attended by supreme representatives of 29 countries.

Zeman, who pays his official visit to China on May 11-18, is the only president of an EU country to attend the conference. Some EU member states sent heads of government to it.

During his meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Friday, Zeman expressed support for a new Silk Road as well. He said he would like one of its branches to lead across the Czech Republic as well and that he expected an active Czech participation in the project.

The next Silk Road summit is scheduled for 2019, Xi has said.

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