RIYADH: The Czech Republic’s deputy foreign minister, Jan Marian, extended his gratitude to the Kingdom for its efforts in hosting the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh’s ministerial meeting, and stressed the importance of continuing the fight against the group.
“Daesh’s territorial defeat has not ended its kinetic threat. Our fight against Daesh in Iraq and Syria, as well as in Africa, Afghanistan, and Central Asia must continue,” Marian told Arab News.
Saudi Arabia is set to host global leaders and delegates on Thursday, June 8 for the meeting at the Intercontinental Hotel in Riyadh.
“We sincerely appreciate that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will host the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh/ISIS ministerial meeting,” Marian said.
The deputy foreign minister stressed that the Czech Republic remains firmly committed to the coalition’s mission.
“Alongside our involvement in international military missions, our activities focus on the prevention of radicalization and improvement of the socio-economic conditions in terrorism-affected areas,” Marian stressed.
“One of the Czech instruments for humanitarian aid and reconstruction activities in the MENA region is The Reconstruction program for the Middle East region.”
The deputy foreign minister explained that in 2023, Prague is planning to allocate 134 million Czech crowns ($6.1 million) for stabilization aid to Iraq, Syria, and the broader Middle East region.
He explained that of that, almost crowns would be aid to Syria.
“The primary focus of our aid continues to be on supporting medical and sanitation services and education,” Marian said.
Speaking on the changes he has witnessed in the Kingdom, Marian added: “In Saudi Arabia, we are witnessing a unique and revolutionary attempt to rebuild the country, its economy, and the society.
“The positive effect of the ongoing Saudi reforms is very visible and appreciated in the international arena.
“Riyadh has, more than ever, become a stabilizing regional pillar and an important partner.”
The deputy foreign minister described the Kingdom’s agreement with Iran as “a clear demonstration of political maturity and sense of responsibility for the Middle East developments.”
Saudi Arabia and Iran spent four days in talks between March 6 and March 10. The dialogue resulted in an agreement to reestablish diplomatic relations and reopen embassies in the two countries.
The deputy foreign minister also highlighted the bilateral ties between the Kingdom and the Czech Republic.
He said that the visit from the Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky in May 2023 only reaffirmed the Czech Republic’s interest in “deepening ties with the Kingdom.”
Marian emphasized that he hopes that he can host his Saudi counterparts in Prague in the near future.
“We are keen to discuss regional developments, instruments for ensuring sustainable energy security, and new opportunities for trade and economic cooperation,” he said.
“The Kingdom’s reform framework Vision 2030 in this respect represents a huge opportunity for Czech companies who can offer expertise and transfer of technologies.”