Following in the footsteps of leaders across the globe – perhaps most notably, Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin – Czech president Miloš Zeman has congratulated US president-elect Donald Trump on his historic victory during a press conference this afternoon.
He also re-iterated support for some of Trump’s controversial policies.
“I agree with his views on both immigration and the fight against Islamic terrorism,” Zeman said in the televised speech on Czech TV.
Zeman has sent Trump a congratulatory letter, and invited him to visit the Czech Republic, where the president-elect and his family have some strong ties.
Trump has three children with Moravian ex-wife Ivana; Donald Jr., reportedly, can speak fluent Czech.
The Czech president also stated that he appreciates Trump’s matter-of-fact style, and hope that it leads to improved relations between the US and Czech Republic.
“I appreciate the manner and demeanor of Donald Trump, who speaks clearly, sometimes harshly, but comprehensibly. This avoids what is sometimes called political correctness, which is, in my opinion, really just a collection of meaningless phrases.”
Last year, some minor controversy was stirred after US Ambassador Andrew Shapiro criticized Zeman’s visit to Moscow for a WWII commemoration. The Czech president later announced that Prague Castle’s doors were closed to the Ambassador.
“I believe that the relations with the United States will be better as a result of this vote, and will not be affected by some misunderstandings, such as the entirely unprofessional stance of current US Ambassador Mr. Shapiro, who has been providing unsolicited advice to the President regarding where he should, or rather should not travel and who, as the sole Ambassador, did not attend the state holiday on October 28th at Prague Castle,” Zeman said.
Here is the full text of Zeman’s letter to Trump, which can be found in Czech at the website of Prague Castle:
“Dear Mr. President-Elect,
“With great pleasure, I add to the congratulations on your election as the President of the United States of America.
“During the tense election campaign, when I expressed support for you as one of only a few European leaders, I knew that in you the United States would choose a president with a new and fresh look at a whole range of political issues. My political opponents used to call me the “Czech Donald Trump” because they have noticed that you and I share the same views on the fight against terrorism, the so-called Islamic State, and global migration. I confess that I have always been proud of this label, and never considered it an insult.
“Long before Election Day, I was also convinced that your election would start a new phase of Czech-US relations and transatlantic cooperation. Our two countries have a long tradition of good relations. The United States holds the largest community of Czech expatriates abroad. Your country is the largest non-European trading partner for Czech exporters. The Czech Republic and the United States work closely together on the important foreign policy issues in today’s world, such as the fight against terrorism or support in Syria. Our countries share the common values of democracy and freedom. The United States has long been our strategic partner.
“Dear President-Elect, the Czech Republic and I personally look forward to working with you and your administration and will continue to develop close relations between our countries. I hope that you will travel to the Czech Republic soon, where we will have the honor of inviting you. Again, congratulations!
President of the Czech Republic”