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PM Sobotka to meet German Chancellor Merkel twice this week

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Prague, Aug 19 (CTK) – Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka will have two meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel this week, first on Thursday, August 25, when she will arrive in Prague, and one day later in Warsaw, together with the other PMs of the Visegrad Four (V4).

The V4 is comprised of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

“On Friday, August 26, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka will have talks with the other Visegrad Group prime ministers and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Warsaw,” the Government Office said on Friday.

On Thursday, Merkel will meet Sobotka and President Milos Zeman and visit the Czech Technical University in Prague (CVUT).

The EU’s future, continuation of the Czech-German strategic dialogue and cooperation in science, research and modern technologies will be discussed in Prague.

The topics, on which Merkel wants to focus in Prague, include preparation for the EU summit of 27 member countries in Bratislava on September 16, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Friday.

The British voters’ decision to leave the EU will be discussed without Britain being present at the summit.

The same issue will probably dominate the V4 summit where the five prime ministers will also speak about the Ukraine-Russia conflict, the sanctions against Russia, the EU’s relations with Belarus and the situation in Turkey after the abortive coup in July.

V4 representatives repeatedly criticised Merkel in the past for her accommodating attitude to refugees. In a joint statement last year, the V4 mainly called for a better protection of the Schengen border against the influx of migrants and stressed the security risks arising from the migrant wave.

Some members of the governments of V4 individual countries spoke more sharply about Merkel’s stance .In Slovakia and Hungary, they showed opposition to Merkel’ s conviction that the more than one million refugees who came to Europe can be integrated in society. Czech President Milos Zeman and some other Czech politicians also criticise this.

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