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President to receive Armenian counterpart on Thursday

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Prague, Jan 28 (CTK) – Czech President Milos Zeman will on Thursday receive his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sargsyan, re-elected in 2012, who will visit the Czech Republic at Zeman’s invitation from Wednesday until Friday, the Presidential Office told CTK yesterday.
Sargsyan visited Prague previously five years ago when he attended a summit that launched the EU-initiated Eastern Partnership project.
Sargsyan will also meet Chamber of Deputies chairman Jan Hamacek (Social Democrats, CSSD) and Mayor of Prague Tomas Hudecek (TOP 09) in Prague.
Sargsyan and Zeman will open a Czech-Armenian business forum and Zeman will host a dinner at Prague Castle on Thursday.
Then foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg came out in favour of further development of bilateral trade during his visit to Armenia last spring when he also had talks with Sargsyan.
Schwarzenberg said agreement on political issues makes it possible to pay attention to the development of economic contacts.
Sargsyan arrived in Prague in 2009 when the Czech Republic presided the EU. The capital then hosted a summit of six post-Soviet republics an the EU at which the Eastern Partnership was launched.
The initiative aims at tightening the relationship between the EU and the Eastern partners by deepening their political co-operation and economic integration.
The city of Prague was also the venue of negotiations about a peaceful solution to the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno Karabakh, mediated by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Zeman resumed his foreign diplomacy activities at the beginning of the year after a pause forced by a knee injury he suffered at the end of last October.
Besides Sargsyan, he will also meet the Uzbek and Macedonian presidents in Prague.
An invitation to the April summit of the Eastern Partnership was also extended to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich. It was made still before the demonstrations flared up in the country.
The violence in Ukraine will be discussed by Hynek Kmonicek, head of the Presidential Office foreign department, and Ukrainian ambassador to the Czech Republic Borys Zaychuk.
Another ten heads of state will attend the EU summit in Prague.
Zeman, for his part, will go to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Serbia and Slovenia.
At the weekend Zeman visited Czech soldiers in Afghanistan.

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