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Lower house head wants Zeman to apologise to US ambassador

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Prague, Nov 10 (CTK) – Czech President Milos Zeman should apologise to Andrew Schapiro, the U.S. ambassador to Prague, for having said Schapiro was absent from the October 28 national holiday celebrations at Prague Castle, Chamber of Deputies chairman Jan Hamacek tweeted yesterday.
Earlier yesterday, Zeman’s apology was demanded by Agriculture Minister Marian Jurecka (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL), who also criticised the comments Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek made on Schapiro’s expected departure from Prague in consequence of the Tuesday’s election of Donald Trump as the new U.S. president.
“There is no need to apologise to the invisible,” Ovcacek told CTK in reaction to Jurecka.
On Wednesday, Zeman accused Schapiro of being almost the only ambassador not to have attended the October 28 national holiday celebration at Prague Castle, the seat of the Czech president.
The embassy reacted saying Schapiro did attend the event.
“If so, the ambassador was invisible during the October 28 solemn event at Prague Castle,” Ovcacek wrote in reaction.
The German ambassador to Prague, Arndt Freytag von Loringhoven, has confirmed that Schapiro was sitting next to him during the ceremony in the Vladislav Hall.
Ovcacek welcomed Schapiro’s expected departure as U.S. ambassador on Twitter yesterday.
“The no-diplomat’s departure will be a nice present to my birthday in January. It would considerably boost our historically firm relations with the USA,” Ovcacek wrote.
Criticising his words, Jurecka said Ovcacek lacks the ability to play fairly, admit his own mistake and apologise.
Schapiro, who is not a career diplomat and was appointed to the ambassadorial post by outgoing Democrat U.S. President Barack Obama, is likely to leave it now that Trump, a Republican, has been elected new president.

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