Czech Republic: President-elect Pavel spoke with Zelensky


Pavel, a retired general and former head of the NATO Military Commission, a supporter of military aid to Ukraine, announced that he had spoken via twitter with the Ukrainian President.

Petr Pavel, the winner of Saturday’s presidential election in the Czech Republic, spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky today and plans to hold talks with Taiwan’s president on Monday, according to his team, thus different from the outgoing president. .

Pavel, a retired general and former head of NATO’s Military Commission, a supporter of military aid to Ukraine, prevailed over former Prime Minister Andrey Babis.

He is expected to be sworn in on March 9 to succeed Milos Zeman, a controversial politician who had close ties to Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping before pivoting on Russia when it invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

Pavel, an ardent supporter of Ukraine’s accession to the European Union, announced in a message on Twitter that he spoke by phone with Zelensky.

The Ukrainian president also tweeted that he “personally congratulated Pavel on his election victory.” “I thanked him as well as the Czech people for their undivided support. I invited him to come to Ukraine,” the Ukrainian president added.

The Czech president-elect had said before the election that his first visit abroad would, as custom dictates, be to neighboring Slovakia, with which the Czech Republic formed Czechoslovakia before it split in 1993. But he had clarify that the visit to Ukraine would follow.

The election of this leader with pro-Ukraine and pro-EU positions was welcomed by European leaders.

Pavel also received a message from Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, whom he is expected to contact on Monday: “A phone call is planned for Monday,” his spokeswoman Marketa Rekhakova told AFP.

In an interview with Czech Radio, the Czech public radio station, Pavel said today that he would support relations with Taiwan, a major investor in the Czech Republic.

China considers the island of 24 million people one of its provinces, which it will retake by force if necessary. Relations between Beijing and Taipei, already strained, deteriorated sharply in 2022 when Beijing increased military exercises around the island.

For the Czech president-elect, “there is nothing wrong with having special relations with Taiwan, which is the other system,” referring to Beijing’s term “one country, two systems” to mainly describe relations between Hong Kong and mainland China after the former British colony returned to the People’s Republic of China.

“It is certainly in our interest to maintain active trade relations, perhaps even scientific relations with Taiwan,” Pavel said.


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