Prague, Dec 7 (CTK) – Czech President Milos Zeman still believes that the outgoing head of the Presidential Office protocol, Jindrich Forejt, will become Czech ambassador to the Vatican and that he did good work at the protocol department, he told journalists after a visit to the Chamber of Deputies yesterday.
Zeman said it will now depend on the Czech Foreign Ministry and on whether the Vatican will grant Forejt its agrement.
He said he has not yet spoken to Forejt because he is ill.
Forejt, 39, resigned for personal and health reasons on Tuesday.
He has been one of Zeman’s close collaborators. He went under criticism of late because of several mistakes he did in his post.
Some media wrote on Monday that Forejt allegedly features in in a compromising video. It has not been possible to verify the authenticity of the material.
“It is my personal wish that he become ambassador to the Vatican, where the last but one government approved him already, because he did much useful work,” Zeman said.
Forejt is still a Foreign Ministry employee. He has worked with the Presidential Office since 2002. Two years later, he became head of the protocol department.
Zeman’s predecessor, Vaclav Klaus (2003-13) also praised Forejt’s services.
According to available information, Forejt did not complete university studies. When the media speculated about this, he handed in his resignation, but Zeman refused to accept it.
Forejt speaks German, English, French and Russian. He learns Italian.
During his audience with Pope Francis in the Vatican, Zeman presented Forejt as the future ambassador.
A number of diplomats, including Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek, criticised Zeman for this. Former ambassador to the Vatican Pavel Jajtner said this amounts to pressure on the Holy See.