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Zeman to discuss embassy relocation, cooperation in Israel

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Prague, July 18 (CTK) – Czech President Milos Zeman wants to talk about the relocation of the Czech embassy to Jerusalem and the extension of economic cooperation in Israel in the autumn, when he is also to visit China, he said in an interview with CTK on Wednesday.

He might meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on this occasion, he added.

In reaction to a CTK question, he said he had signed credentials of some ambassadors, but he did not elaborate.

He also said he did not plan to raise the number of people to be awarded by him at a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of Czechoslovakia’a birth on October 28.

In the second half of the year, Zeman is to pay visit to Germany, Israel and China.

Zeman repeatedly supported the transfer of the Czech embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. However, it would be primarily to the Czech government to take this step.

Asked whether he considered the relocation of the embassy to Jerusalem realistic now, Zeman said even PM Andrej Babis (ANO) had signed a petition for this.

“Naturally, I go there not only because of this issue, but among others to strive for further extension of our cooperation with Israel in the spirit of economic diplomacy,” he said, adding that Israel is a technological power.

Zeman does not plan to meet Palestinian representatives during his visit.

Zeman is to pay a visit to China at the beginning of November to attend an international fair on import from China to be held in Shanghai. He is likely to meet his Chinese counterpart on this occasion.

In connection with this trip, Zeman highlighted the importance of the New Silk Road project for Czech firms.

Asked about the fulfilment of expected Chinese investments in the Czech Republic, Zeman said the China Energy Company Limited (CEFC), which was originally behind most investments, faced troubles.

“On the other hand, I am glad that it was replaced by the CITIC firm that is much larger, so I hope there are no longer the risks connected with the CEFC,” Zeman said.

CEFC ended up in problems over the investigation of its board chairman Ye Jianming, one of Zeman’s advisers.

Zeman has so far refused to dismiss him as his adviser and he insisted on this stance. “I respect the presumption of innocence. If convicted, he will cease being my adviser, but so far, I have no information about such conviction,” Zeman said.

At the end of July, Zeman and Slovak President Andrej Kiska will remember the centenary of Czechoslovakia and its first president, Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, by a joint ride in a historic train. They will go from the south Moravian town of Hodonin, where Masaryk was born, to Topolcianky in Slovakia, where Czechoslovak presidents had their summer residence.

Kiska should also attend the celebrations of Czechoslovakia’s birth in Prague on October 28.

Zeman does to plan to invite any other foreign statesmen to the event or to extend the list of people to be decorated on this occasion.

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