Czechs, Germans considering joint embassy in Minsk

(PDM staff with CTK) 26 September - The Czech Republic and Germany are discussing the possibility of jointly constructing a building in Minsk that would house both countries' embassies, Richard Krpac of the Czech Foreign Ministry's press department confirmed Friday.

"Negotiations are now only in the initial stage. Nevertheless both countries share a common interest in their successful conclusion," said Krpac.

According to him, the current seat of the Czech embassy in Minsk is not satisfactory.

The German and Czech governments have both reserved lots for building new adjacent embassies.

Unofficial sources say Germany and the Czech Republic want not only to save money by constructing a single building. The two governments reportedly also want to demonstrate that relations between the two countries are as excellent as politicians claim them to be.

If the plan is carried out, it would be the first such common project between Germany and the Czech Republic.

The German Foreign Ministry has already completed similar projects with other countries. It is currently building a joint embassy with France in Mozambique and has jointly leased a piece of real estate in Ecuador with Britain. German, French and British diplomats also share a common facility in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Czech relations with Belarus are worse than with other European countries. Czech representatives often criticise the autocratic regime of President Alexander Lukashenko. Because of the prevailing conditions in Belarus, the Czech Republic's highest representative in the country is only at the level of a legation councillor. Likewise, Belarus is represented by a charge d'affaires in the Czech Republic.

CTK news edited by the staff of the Prague Daily Monitor, a Monitor CE service.