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Zeman invites Van der Bellen to Prague

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Prague, March 30 (CTK) – Czech President Milos Zeman has invited his Austrian counterpart Alexander Van der Bellen for a visit to the Czech Republic this spring, Zeman wrote in a letter to him he passed to the media yesterday.

Zeman supported Norbert Hofer, the candidate of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPOe), in his presidential duel with Greens candidate Van der Bellen last year.

Van der Bellen took up the office in January.

“It would be a pleasure for me to welcome you at Prague Castle, the ancient seat of Czech Kings, during the first six months of the year,” Zeman wrote.

“I firmly believe that we will find joint topics and that we will manage to contribute to successful Austrian-Czech cooperation,” he added.

The Austrian Presidential Office has said the date of the visit is being looked for.

“The date of the visit is being planned,” Austrian Presidential Office has told the Austrian news agency APA.

Zeman said the development of bilateral Czech-Austrian relations had been positive in the past decades.

Along with a traditional political and economic partnership of the two countries, linked by a common past, he stressed a “positive change” in the bilateral perception of their citizens, in the respect and tolerance as well as growth in
personal contacts and cross-border cooperation.

“I do not deny that I sided with Hofer because I do not like the Greens’ parties,” Zeman said on radio after the May presidential election was scrapped due to some inconsistencies in Austria.

Hofer’s subsequent visit to Zeman in September was criticised by some politicians. They said by receiving Hofer, he interfered in the Austrian election.

Van der Bellen confirmed his victory in the December repeated election.
pv/dr/ms

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