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Zeman rejects anti-Russian sanctions in speech for ambassadors

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Prague, Aug 24 (CTK) – Czech President Milos Zeman talked about problems with migration from Islamic countries to the EU and he again rejected the Western sanctions against Russia in his speech for the heads of Czech diplomatic missions abroad at Prague Castle, the presidential seat, on Wednesday.

Islamic migrants come from a dramatically different culture, he said, questioning their possible successful integration into society.

Zeman called the anti-Russian sanctions the major obstacle to bilateral relations.

Zeman received the ambassadors within their annual consultations in Prague that started at the Foreign Ministry on Monday when Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (both Social Democrats, CSSD) addressed the diplomats.

On Tuesday, they will debate economic diplomacy and development cooperation as well as the EU agenda, with secretary for EU Tomas Prouza (CSSD).

In his over 20-minute speech, Zeman talked mainly about the threat of terrorism.

Security situation has worsened since last year, mainly due to Islamic State (IS), Zeman said.

At the NATO summit in Warsaw in July, Zeman called on the Alliance to decide on a joint intervention against IS. It should attack its brain not its body, he added.

Zeman also mentioned migration in his address.

In the past decades, “internal” migration prevailed in Europe when people with a similar culture left one country for another, while the present migration is “intercontinental” based on a different culture, he added.

Zeman also touched upon Brexit, which he called a mistake both for the EU and Britain.

“We cannot delude ourselves that we are not to blame for it at all,” Zeman said.

He also called on the ambassadors to support Czech export.

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