Press Releases

15. 1. 2009 15:59

January 15, 2009: ČSSD Boycotting Talks on Czech Army Foreign Missions

As the Prime Minister I have to express my profound regret over the Czech Social Democratic (?SSD) Party’s approach to the issue of the foreign missions of the Czech Army. The Social Democrats are boycotting all the negotiations on this issue. Since ?SSD Chairman Ji?í Paroubek has been consistently rejecting any discussions on the missions, the Government has made another attempt to conduct negotiations at the Parliamentary level. In an effort to give the opposition space to express its views, the Government interrupted its discussions of this urgent issue on Monday, and invited to its Monday session the MPs concerned.
However, the invited guests, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committees of the House of Deputies Jan Hamá?ek and Chairman of the House Security Committee František Bublan both excused themselves from the meeting, saying there was nothing to be discussed unless such talks are approved by ?SSD Chairman Ji?í Paroubek. The Social Democrats even refused to take part in a Government meeting President Václav Klaus had decided to attend precisely because of its planned discussion of the issue of the Czech foreign military missions. I would like to say that this is a genuine boycott on the part of the Czech Social Democrats. And this is happening despite the fact that the Government as well as I personally have met all the preliminary conditions for negotiations. The cabinet has adjusted the terms for the operation of our troops abroad according to the opposition’s requirements, and I have apologized for statements made by Interior Minister Ivan Langer.

Seen in this light, the Social Democratic Party´s behaviour is seriously jeopardizing the prestige of the Czech Republic abroad, our own national security and economic interests, and primarily the lives of Czech troops. That is why I’m urging the Czech Social Democratic Party once again to reconsider its position, and open negotiations in a bid to find a solution to the critical situation around the foreign missions.

Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic

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