News of Radio Prague

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Czech position on Middle East in line with EU policy says Solana

The Czech Republic's position on the Middle East is in line with that of the European Union, the EU foreign policy and security chief Javier Solana said after meeting the Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman in Brussels on Friday. Both men agreed that the Palestinians had the right to an independent state, on condition that they renounced terrorism. Many Arab countries were offended by statements made by Mr Zeman earlier this year when he compared Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to Hitler.

Kavan to meet Sharon and Arafat on Middle East visit

The Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kavan is due to meet Yasser Arafat when he pays a visit to the Middle East this weekend. Mr Kavan is also planning to hold talks with the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Mr Kavan's visit will concentrate on efforts to bring peace to the region, but will also include Israeli investment in the Czech Republic and Czech humanitarian aid for the Palestinians.

Robertson denies offer of anti-chemical training area by Czech government

The secretary general of NATO, George Robertson, has denied that the Czech Republic has officially offered the alliance the use of a military training area for anti-chemical troops. Mr Robertson said however that it would be natural for the Czech Republic, as a member of NATO, to offer its facilities to its allies. The NATO leader made the comments after meeting the Czech Prime Minister, Milos Zeman. Mr Zeman was in Brussels to say goodbye to senior EU and NATO officials, three weeks before his term of office ends.

Senate approves ban on covering faces during demonstrations in which police intervene

The Senate has passed an amendment banning participants in demonstrations in which the police intervene from covering their faces. The Interior Minister Stanislav Gross said that demonstrators would be free to cover their faces in peaceful protests. The amendment now has to be signed by the president.

Conference on T.G. Masaryk ends in Paris

A two-day conference in Paris on the first president of Czechoslovakia, Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, has ended with the screening of a film about him. Some two dozen historians, philosophers and political scientists attended the conference - entitled "T.G. Masaryk - European Intellectual and Politician" - which was held at the French senate on Thursday, before moving to Paris's Czech Centre on Friday.

Weather

Saturday should be cloudy with occasional showers, and temperatures between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius. Sunday will also be cloudy with showers, though temperatures should be slightly higher at 19 to 23 degrees Celsius.