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HN: Israng to be new German ambassador to Prague

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Prague, March 31 (CTK) – Christoph Israng, a diplomat with a good knowledge of the Czech Republic, will be the new German ambassador to Prague, daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) writes Friday, citing three diplomatic sources.

Israng will arrive in Prague now that Czech-German relations have been affected by disputes over the migrant crisis, the daily writes.

Regarding the weight of Germany, the new ambassador will be the most important member of the diplomatic corps in Prague, notably now that the post of U.S. ambassador remains vacant after the inauguration of Donald Trump as president, the paper writes.

Israng has been the German ambassador to the Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons since 2014.

Before, he spent many years heading the Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe department at the German Chancellor’s Office.

He therefore knows the Czech Republic well, the daily writes.

“He is not a man who would arrive [in the Czech Republic] as another of his diplomatic missions without knowing where Prague is situated,” a Czech diplomat told HN.

Another Czech diplomat added that the personnel filling of the post of ambassador to Prague has always been directly decided by the Chancellor.

Israng assisted in the settlement of Czech-Bavarian relations and the preparation of Bavarian Minister President Horst Seehofer’s visit to Prague in 2010, the paper continues.

Czech diplomats praise Israng’s competence as a diplomat. They also appreciate it that his age, 46, makes him unburdened with the past disputes over the German wartime occupation of the Czech Lands and the post-war transfer of ethnic Germans from Czechoslovakia, the daily writes.

The German embassy in Prague would not comment on the planned appointment of Christoph Israng. It confirmed that a new ambassador will arrive in Prague in July or August, HN writes.

The post of German ambassador has been vacant since November when Arndt Freytag von Loringhoven left the post to become NATO intelligence chief.

At present, the embassy’s interim head is Hansjorg Haber, the charge d’affaires, HN writes.

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