Czech ministers concerned about Middle East situation

Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-08 05:37:36|Editor: ZX
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PRAGUE, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Czech ministers on Tuesday expressed their concerns over the situation in the Middle East following the U.S. killing of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, in Iraq on Friday.

In a Twitter message, Culture Minister Lubomir Zaoralek slammed the U.S. move, calling it a "violation of international law".

"For a country like the Czech Republic, these rules are vital," Zaoralek added.

Currently, about 40 Czech soldiers and five police officers are still based in Iraq, as part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) training mission. Their training activities have been suspended.

Interior Minister Jan Hamacek said Prague has been monitoring the situation in the Middle East and will decide whether the Czech police will remain on the mission in Baghdad within a few days.

Police President Jan Svejdar was quoted by Czech News Agency as saying: "Their remaining does not depend on our position only. However, our stance is clear, we want to protect their lives, and see peace maintained at our base (in Iraq)."

Earlier, Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek has said that the killing of Soleimani had further complicated the complex situation in the Middle East and threatened the fight against international terrorism.

"Unfortunately, the situation in the Middle East continues to complicate. Among other things, fragile achievements in the fight against the Islamic State and international terrorism as such are under threat," he tweeted after the airstrike.

Former foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg wrote Monday on his Facebook, stating openly that "the acts by President (Donald) Trump are criminal. No one is allowed to violate international laws, not even the president of the United States."