Czech foreign minister dismissed

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PRAGUE

Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek said on Monday he has been dismissed from his position as the country’s top diplomat.

In a press briefing, he said Jan Hamacek, the deputy prime minister and the chief of the Social Democratic party (CSSD), confirmed his sacking during a meeting.

Earlier, President Milos Zeman reacted against Petricek for opposing the use of Russian and Chinese COVID-16 vaccines, and trying to prevent Russia from participating in a tender bid for the expansion of the Dukovany nuclear power plant.

He also called on the prime minister for Patricek’s removal.

Meanwhile, some other reports in the Czech media suggested that Petricek was dismissed due to his harsh criticism of current party leader Hamacek, saying that he was a presidential candidate at the weekend’s CSSD party congress.

Jan Blatny, the health minister, was also dismissed last week amid a debate over the use of Russian and Chinese COVID-19 vaccines, which have not been approved by the EU.

The CSSD, a center-left party, is a junior coalition party in the minority government led by Prime Minister Andrej Babis.

*Writing and contribution by Iclal Turan in Ankara

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