Czech leaders clash over sanctions against Russia
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic's prime minister has condemned the president's rejection of European Union sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis.
President Milos Zeman spoke Tuesday in Strasbourg, repeating his stance against the sanctions by saying they don't work. Zeman suggested they should be replaced with a dialogue that might result in some compensation for Ukraine from Russia. He also called Russia's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula irreversible.
Banned from tennis, Nastase starts new career as diplomat
PRAGUE (AP) — Ilie Nastase is taking on a new role as a diplomat for the Czech Republic.
The Romanian tennis great has been banned by the International Tennis Federation for two years because of his foul-mouthed comments and bad behavior as Romania's Fed Cup captain.
But after a meeting on Friday, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said Nastase agreed to become the Czech Republic's new honorary consul in Romania. He will be based in the Black Sea port of Constanta.
2 Czechs imprisoned in Turkey for links to Kurdish group
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic's foreign minister says he is disappointed that a Turkish court sentenced two Czech nationals to stiff prison terms for belonging to a Kurdish militant group.
Turkey accuses Miroslav Farkas and Marketa Vselichova of belonging to YPG, a Kurdish group that has been battling Islamic State militants with the aid of U.S. airstrikes. Turkey considers YPG a terrorist group.
Czech Republic open new office to deal with cyberattacks
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic has opened a new office focused on preventing cyberattacks.
The Czech National Cyber and Information Security Office is based in country's second-largest city, Brno (BIR-no.) It employs 118 people for now, but officials say the staff could grow to 400.
The office's official opening on Tuesday comes as public institutions and businesses have reported a growing number of attacks.
Czech woman injured in Egypt knife attack dies
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Foreign Ministry says a Czech woman who was wounded in a knife attack at a hotel in the popular Egyptian Red Sea resort of Hurghada earlier in July has died.
Thursday's announcement comes a day after authorities said the 36-year-old was on the brink of death and only life support was keeping her alive in a Cairo hospital.
PRAGUE (AP) — Britain's Brexit minister said Tuesday that progress has been made in talks with the European Union on the rights of citizens living in each other's nations once the country leaves the bloc.
But after meeting Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek, David Davis said disagreements remain over the role of the European Court of Justice. The EU wants the court to be the final arbiter on many issues after a Brexit agreement, something Britain rejects.
VIENNA (AP) — The Czech Republic's foreign minister has suggested that the European Union consider a military engagement in Libya to reduce the flow of migrants arriving by boat from there to Europe.
Lubomir Zaoralek says that "we must speak very openly what the real instruments are to stabilize Libya." He told the Austrian Press Agency while in Vienna on Thursday that Europe needs to find a way "to consolidate the country" instead of just waiting for it to happen.
PRAGUE (AP) — Czech Prime Minister Boshuslav Sobotka says he is resigning as chairman of his leftist Social Democrats amid falling popularity for the party ahead of parliamentary elections.
Sobotka's deputy, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec, known for his strong anti-migrant stance, will take over the party. Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek will take responsibility for the Social Democrats' campaign in October's elections.
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech presidential office said President Milos Zeman's latest shot at the media was a joke. Politicians and journalists just don't seem to get it.
Before meeting Russia's president Sunday in China, Zeman commented on the presence of journalists, telling Vladimir Putin that they were too numerous and they should be "liquidated." Putin countered that it could be enough to "reduce" them.
Their conversation was captured by a television microphone and posted on social media.
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech foreign minister is calling on British prosecutors to reconsider a court ruling that cleared a Briton charged with the murder of a Czech national living in Britain.
Zdenek Makar, 31, died in September after a fight in London with four Britons. One of them, Raymond Sculley, was charged but was acquitted of murder Monday.
Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said he could not accept the verdict, which ruled that the man's death was a result of self-defense.
Czech man released from Sudan prison during minister’s trip
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic's Foreign Ministry says a Czech national who was sentenced to a stiff prison term in Sudan last month has been released and is on the way home with the minister.
The ministry said in January that Petr Jasek received a 20-year prison term for charges that included espionage.
Czech officials had rejected the sentence as groundless.
Czech foreign minister: ministry email hack took months
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic's foreign minister says that a successful hacking attack on his email account and the accounts of dozens of ministry officials took place for months.
Lubomir Zaoralek says that the breach was discovered on Jan. 16, but declined to give any further details about the amount of the data stolen, their content or who was behind the attack.
Czech foreign minister: Emails hacked by foreign state
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic's foreign minister said Tuesday that his email account and the accounts of dozens of ministry officials have been successfully hacked.
The January cyberattack was sophisticated, and experts believe it was done by a foreign state, Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said.
Zaoralek did not specify the country suspected of being behind the hack, but said it was similar to the theft of Democratic National Committee emails in the United States.
Czech FM: 20-year sentence for Czech in Sudan groundless
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Foreign Ministry has rejected as groundless a Sudanese court's ruling that sentenced a Czech national to 20 years in prison.
The ministry said Petr Jasek was given the stiff prison term on Sunday by a court in Khartoum, where he was tried on charges that included espionage.
The ministry says a deputy foreign minister will travel to Sudan in the coming days to try to negotiate Jasek's release and if necessary, Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek is ready go there, too.
Iran’s FM in Prague to discuss business, nuclear cooperation
PRAGUE (AP) — Iran's foreign minister visited the Czech capital of Prague to talk business Friday, including the development of a nuclear program after the sanctions against his country were lifted.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's visit comes just six months after the head of Iran's nuclear program met Czech leaders in May to discuss developing bilateral nuclear cooperation.