President welcomed in Prague by the Czech President
At his seat in Prague Castle, Czech President Miloš Zeman welcomed on Thursday morning the President of the Slovak Republic Zuzana Čaputová. The Slovak head of state is on her first official foreign visit, which by tradition is always to the Czech Republic.
After the welcome and a personal talk between both presidents, Zeman and Čaputová attended the plenary session of delegations, followed by a joint lunch and press conference. The Slovak president will meet also with the senate chairman of the Czech Parliament Jaroslav Kuber and the Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament Radek Vondráček.
As part of the one-day visit to the Czech capital, Čaputová will lay a wreath at the statue of General Milan Rastislav Štefánik and flowers on the grave of President Václav Havel. She will also meet with her compatriots and attend the concert Zuzana Isn’t at Home Alone, with Slovak and Czech musicians, such as Dan Bárta, Jiří Stivín and Dorota Nvotová playing in her honour.
Despite the relatively broad range of topics covered in the discussion between the presidents of the Slovak and Czech republics Zuzana Čaputová and Miloš Zeman, there was no conflict of opinion, as the heads of state declared after their joint meeting, held in the framework of the official programme of Thursday’s visit of the Slovak president to Prague. “I’m not saying that sometimes in future we will not diverge on certain matters, though no such matter arose at this introductory meeting,” said Čaputová. Zeman confirmed the statement by saying that “they did not run into a single issue of conflict” in the discussion.
The Czech House in Bratislava is to be completed by the end of 2019. This was confirmed at a joint briefing by the presidents of the Slovak and Czech republics Zuzana Čaputová and Miloš Zeman. Čaputová recalled the words of the Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini that only technical issues remain to be resolved. “So, this really is the culmination of the preparatory phase,” confirmed Čaputová regarding the establishment of the Czech House in Bratislava. Zeman plans to invite also Čaputová’s predecessor, Andrej Kiska, to the opening of the Czech House. “We will be like a Holy Trinity,” he commented.
Zuzana Čaputová on Thursday evening attended a concert at the Prague Kampa, organised by her supporters. She gave a speech there, highlighting Czech-Slovak relations and indirectly lent her support to those attending protests against the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, as reported the news server Novinky.cz. “Several times today I have reiterated that relations between our countries are extremely close. I mean mainly human relations. We have among us many personal ties, friendships, family relations,” stated Čaputová at the close of her official visit to the Czech Republic on Thursday.
Over the course of the day, she met with Czech President Miloš Zeman, the Chairman of both Chambers of the Czech Parliament and compatriots living in the Czech Republic. She also laid wreaths at the statue of General Milan Rastislav Stefanik and flowers at the grave of the former Czechoslovak and Czech President Václav Havel. The evening concert titled Zuzana Isn’t at Home Alone was conceived by the organisers as a gift for the Slovak President’s birthday on Friday.
“I understand a Wenceslas Square full of happy, peaceful people, as well as I understand the peaceful squares of Bratislava. We are connected through a calm note, and that is very important,” stated the president in her speech at the concert.
Čaputová also touched on the current wave of demonstrations against Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Minister of Justice Maria Benešová, which are taking place in Prague and other cities of the Czech Republic, as reported the news server Novinky.cz. The news server added that she also mentioned the protests in Bratislava following last year’s murder of the journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová, which led to the fall of Robert Fico’s government.
The concert at Kampa featured Czech and Slovak performers, such as Dan Bárta, Jiří Stivín, Dorota Nvotová, Katarzia and the bands Eturnity and Živé kvety.