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Prague Daily Monitor: Klaus fears for north Africa, says Czechs should focus on Egypt

Czech President Vaclav Klaus said he wished for the region to progress forward as much as possible.
31.08.11 | Interesting article at Prague Daily Monitor

Czech President Vaclav Klaus feels concern about the forthcoming developments in north African countries, he said at a meeting with Czech diplomats Tuesday, warning against what he called the "cheap optimism" shared by the USA and some European countries.

Klaus said he wished for the region to progress forward as much as possible. Nevertheless, it is a mistake to compare the recent changes in north African countries to the collapse of communism in 1989 and describe the situation as "the Arab spring," Klaus said.

He said his biggest apprehensions concern Egypt. The Czech foreign policy should focus on Egypt most of all, also for historical reasons, he added.

A country's getting rid of a few leading politicians "means no guarantee of a necessary and relevant change in the system," Klaus said.

The Arab "leaderless revolution" suffers from a number of shortcomings, he indicated.

"Twenty years ago, I often spoke at home and abroad about a trio of transformation success preconditions - we must know where we want to go and how to get there, and we must be able to create political conditions in the country for people accepting both [aspects mentioned above] for their own. I can't see anything like that there [in north Africa]," Klaus, who was the first Czechoslovak post-communist finance minister and first Czech prime minister in the 1990s, said.

"In this connection I feel the strongest apprehensions about the developments in Egypt," he added.

The Czech Foreign Ministry says it is ready to provide assistance to countries affected by unrest such as Egypt, Tunisia and Libya and share Czech experiences with the transition to democracy and with the transformation period.

The ministry says it is seeking ways to provide an optimal help, through NGOs, for example.