Caputova and Zeman Hail Close Czech-Slovak Bonds On Zeman’s Last Foreign Trip As President
Zeman and Caputova both expressed their appreciation for the high level of relations between the two countries. Photo credit: Zuzana Caputova, via Facebook.
Strbske Pleso, East Slovakia, Feb 7 (CTK) – The Czech Republic and Slovakia are closer together than ever, as reflected in close cooperation in various areas, Slovak President Zuzana Caputova said after meeting her Czech counterpart Milos Zeman today.
Zeman said he hoped the good relations between the Czech Republic and Slovakia would continue under his successor, Petr Pavel.
“I believe that very good Czech-Slovak cooperation will continue under my successor,” said the outgoing president, during his farewell visit to Slovakia as head of state. His term in office expires on 8 March.
Zeman said that although he had not supported Pavel in the recent presidential contest, he wished him to be successful in the interests of the Czech Republic.
Caputova said her views were close to those held by Pavel in terms of views and values and that she expected good cooperation.
Immediately after the end of the second round of the presidential contest, Caputova travelled to Prague to congratulate Pavel on his victory. He will take up the post on 9 March.
Caputova dismissed criticism of her support for Pavel, highlighting Zeman’s attitude before the Slovak presidential election. A week before the vote, he received Caputova’s rival at the Lany presidential mansion to wish him success.
Zeman and Caputova both expressed their appreciation for the high level of relations between the two countries.
“The relations between our countries are not only free of problems, but excellent,” Zeman said.
“Our countries are very close to one another. The quality of this relationship is reflected in various types of cooperation, be it economy or culture, or in human relations,” Caputova said.
“I am glad that this appears especially in situations where there is the need to help one another,” she added, pointing out the Czech command of a multinational combat unit in Slovakia and the Czech Republic’s help in Slovak air policing.
Zeman said he and Caputova differed on their views of green politics. At the same time, he said, he supported the Slovak environmentalists who had protested against the observation tower constructed in the tourist resort of Strbske Pleso.
Before entering politics, Caputova, a lawyer by training, was an environmental activist.
Zeman and Caputova also spoke about regional cooperation.
However, Caputova said there was no unity on the topics of rule of law and aid to Ukraine in the Visegrad Four (V4) Group, composed of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland.
Zeman said he had proposed for Slovenia to join the V4, but Hungary in particular did not show interest in the idea.