Czech Prez Bans US Envoy From Castle

Andrew Schapiro questioned Milos Zeman's plan to attend Moscow event
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 6, 2015 3:04 AM CDT
Czech Republic President Milos Zeman waves to the audience after speaking at the 2015 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington, March 2, 2015.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

(Newser) – The US ambassador to the Czech Republic recently suggested it would be "awkward" if the country's president headed to a World War II remembrance in Moscow, as most EU leaders are skipping it over Russia's meddling in Ukraine. To show exactly what he thinks of the unsolicited advice, President Milos Zeman banned Andrew Schapiro from visiting his official residence, Prague Castle, Reuters reports. "I can't imagine the Czech ambassador in Washington would give advice to the American president where to travel," Zeman told a news organization quoted by Reuters, which notes that Zeman has a penchant for bucking the system. "I won't let any ambassador have a say about my foreign travels."

The result: "Ambassador Schapiro has the door to the castle closed," Zeman says. A rep for the president—whose position is mostly ceremonial—says, however, that Schapiro can attend the castle for social occasions. Another Czech official tells the Prague Post that Zeman "overreacted," even though, he said, ambassadors shouldn't make a habit of condemning leaders' actions. "I presume that the whole affair will be explained rationally," the official says.

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