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Czech Politicians Respond To Defence Minister Cernochova’s Call For UN Withdrawal

Cernochova proposed Czech withdrawal from the UN over Friday’s resolution. Credit: Freepik.

Prague, Oct 30 (CTK) – Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) told Denik N yesterday that he understood Defence Minister Jana Cernochova’s indignation at the UN resolution on Gaza, but told CTK that the Czech Republic will remain in the UN and will continue to promote its views there.

Fiala (ODS) said the Czech Republic had joined the United States, Israel, and 11 other countries in voting against the resolution, in accordance with its long-standing position.

On Friday, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on the current conflict in Israel, its first joint response to the issue. Canada proposed that the text should contain an unequivocal condemnation of Hamas’s “terrorist attacks” and demand the immediate release of the hostages. However, the proposal failed. 

The Assembly instead approved a Jordanian draft resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire, the release of hostages, the protection of civilians and the provision of a safe humanitarian corridor to the Gaza Strip.

The resolution was supported by 120 countries, while 45 abstained from the vote. Israel, the United States and 12 other countries, including the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary and Croatia, voted against it.

In response to the result of the vote, Cernochova (ODS) called for the Czech Republic to withdraw from the UN. She said she was ashamed of the organisation, which she accused of siding with terrorists.

“I can understand the minister’s outrage at the UN resolution that did not condemn the Hamas terrorism in Israel. The Czech Republic, along with the USA and Austria, for example, voted in line with what we have long advocated,” Fiala said.

“We will continue to promote our positions at the UN and convince other states of their correctness,” he said, adding that he believed it was important that the Czech Republic’s voice and views were heard at the UN.

Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky (Pirates) told Czech Television yesterday that he did not expect the government to consider the Czech Republic’s withdrawal from the UN. The idea should be rejected, he said on the political discussion show Questions of Vaclav Moravec.

“There are a number of reasons, but the most important one is that the UN Charter was created on the ruins of the Second World War and some absolutely key principles are anchored in it, which even for the Czech Republic, given its size and position in the international community, represent a certain stable and predictable framework,” Lipavsky noted.

Finance Minister Zbynek Stanjura (ODS) said he considered Cernochova’s comments to be the result of her frustration with the UN resolution on Israel. He said in a TV debate on the CNN Prima News that the government’s position was not in question.

Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Vit Rakusan (STAN) said he could understand the minister’s personal indignation and frustration, but did not think leaving the UN would be a solution. “Such a move would not benefit the Czech Republic, the UN, and ultimately not even Israel itself,” he wrote on Twitter.

Deputy Prime Minister and Regional Development Minister Ivan Bartos (Pirates) unequivocally rejected the idea of ​​the Czech Republic’s departure from the UN. “The UN Charter and the international order derived from it is literally a shield of the Czech state’s independence and sovereignty,” he wrote on Twitter.

For medium-sized countries like the Czech Republic, it is not profitable to live in a world without any rules where the stronger feast at the expense of the weaker, Bartos said. “The history of the 20th century has clearly shown us the tragic consequences for the Czech nation of the absence of international order,” he added.

Andrej Babis, leader of the opposition ANO movement, said on the Duel program on Prima TV that the UN was not fulfilling its role, that the resolution was wrong, and that he could understand Cernochova’s frustration. However, he added that he would not like to leave the UN.

ANO deputy group head Alena Schillerova echoed this view, saying she was “appalled” by Cernochova’s comments. She stressed that ANO supported Israel. “Czechoslovakia was one of the (UN) founding countries and not even Israel is calling for withdrawal from the UN. Let’s fight against this resolution, but let’s not withdraw from the UN,” she said on TV Nova’s “Five Minutes to Twelve” debate program.

Czech President Petr Pavel added that the Czech Republic has long supported reforms of the UN, including its Security Council, but can do so only as a member.

“Issues such as sustainable development, climate change, protection of human rights and others need to be discussed on this global platform for the solutions found to be valid for all,” Pavel said.

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