Updated 25. 8. 2021 16:29
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier came by train from Berlin to visit the Czech Republic. He arrived at Prague’s main railway station shortly after 3:30 p.m. During his three-day stay, he will meet with President Miloš Zeman or Prime Minister Adr Babiš. At the end you will visit Ústí nad Labem. Even today, Steinmeier will meet with President Zeman in Lány for dinner.
He will meet Zeman in Lány for dinner on Wednesday. Official meetings are scheduled for Thursday morning. In Lány, the head of the German state also lays flowers at the grave of the first Czechoslovak president Tomáš Garrigu Masaryk.
Before leaving Berlin for Prague, the German president likened his visit to the Czech Republic to a journey into the past, because relations between Czechs and Germans were not always the best. However, he is now convinced that the neighborhood and partnership are on solid foundations that will not jeopardize any political developments.
“I’m looking forward to this journey, it’s a bit of a journey into the past, because Czechs and Germans have not always been good neighbors,” Steinmeier said at Berlin Central Station. He described the Czech-German agreements and declarations from the 1990s, which contributed to the improvement of the partnership, as a turnaround in mutual relations.
Steinmeier also wanted to talk about the past and the present while traveling to Prague with his guests directly on the train. “We will talk about what has been achieved in the last three decades,” he said before the trip. “Year after year, we get closer – economically, politically, culturally, humanly,” he added.
Despite the difficulties and complexity of the past, according to Steinmeier, Czech-German relations now have such a solid foundation that it is completely independent of the political and government constellation. “This is the message for the current year, when elections are taking place in both countries,” said the German president. Steinmeier also wanted to talk to the guests about the covid-19 pandemic and the consequences of closed borders, for example.
The president will talk to Zeman and Babiš
Steinmeier will meet with President Zeman in Lány for dinner on Wednesday. Official meetings are scheduled for Thursday morning. In Lány, the head of the German state also lays flowers at the grave of the first Czechoslovak president Tomáš Garrigu Masaryk.
Zeman welcomes the German president to Prague Castle with military honors. The meeting will be preceded by a pieta in the crypt of the Orthodox Church in Resslova Street, where Steinmeier will honor the memory of Czechoslovak paratroopers who fell in battle with the Nazis after the assassination of the deputy imperial protector Reinhard Heydrich. Steinmeier will be the first head of the German state to come to the National Monument to the Heroes of the Heydrichiad. He said on Wednesday that Germany was remembering its responsibility. He recalled that in addition to the assassins, a number of other innocent people had died. He called it a duty to strengthen the current good neighborhood, especially for the future.
On Thursday, the German president will also meet with the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Radek Vondráček (YES) and the Speaker of the Senate Miloš Vystrčil (ODS), talks with Prime Minister Babiš are planned for Friday. In addition to Prague, Steinmeier will also visit Ústí nad Labem. In the North Bohemian town, among other things, you can see a multimedia exhibition called Our Germans.
He also plans to visit the Strahov Monastery, meet representatives of German companies or have a reception at the German embassy. He will also meet privately with former Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09), confirmed TOP 09 spokesman Vladan Vaněk.