During Czech President Miloš Zeman’s congratulatory remarks to Donald Trump on Wednesday morning, he opined for better relations between the Czech Republic and the United States.
Zeman criticized the “unprofessional stance” of Andrew Shapiro, saying that the current US Ambassador did not attend the October 28 celebrations at Prague Castle.
But Shapiro was there, claimed witnesses that included the German Ambassador to the Czech Republic and Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek. Video and photos from the event verified Shapiro’s attendance.
Today, a rare public apology came out of Prague Castle through spokesperson Jiří Ovčáček:
“In his speech on November 9, 2016, on the occasion of the US presidential election, the President of the Czech Republic Miloš Zeman mentioned the absence of the US Ambassador on the state holiday on October 28, 2016. This information was received by the president from his Office of Protocol.”
“If this information is incorrect, the president, of course, apologizes to the Ambassador.”
While that “if” qualifier may exclude the statement from being a real apology in the eyes of many, it’s probably as good as it gets from Prague Castle.
Zeman still hasn’t issued an apology to the family of Ferdinand Peroutka after claiming the Czech author said “Hitler is a gentleman,” despite being ordered to do so by local courts under the threat of a 100,000 CZK fine.
Zaorálek said that he was glad the president apologized via Twitter:
2/2 Velvyslanec @AndySchapiro na Hrade 28.10.byl.Sam jsem tam s nim mluvil.Jsem rad,ze se mu prezident omluvil.
— Lubomír Zaorálek (@ZaoralekL) November 11, 2016
But Shapiro’s wife, Tamar Newberger, got the last laugh:
Some people are asking if my husband @andyschapiro has the power to become invisible. Yes — but only when there is housework to do.
— Tamar Newberger (@newberger) November 11, 2016