Czech PM offers Israel 'unwavering' support

Sept. 24, 2004 at 7:36 AM
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PRAGUE, Czech Republic, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- The Czech Republic's new Prime Minister Stanislav Gross has said the Israeli people have his country's "unwavering support".

The CTK news agency reported Friday Gross told Parliament the Czech government had great respect for the way Israel dealt with terrorism.

"The government of the Czech Republic holds great respect for the way that Israel has dealt with this phenomenon (terrorism). The Israeli people have our unwavering support, which there can be no doubt about. We only do not want a further escalation ...", Gross was quoted by CTK as saying.

Gross did, however, voice concerns at the construction of Israel's security barrier designed to protect the Jewish state from terror attacks on its civilians.

The Czech Republic has been a staunch supporter of Israel for years, sometimes outraging the Arab world. In 2002, former Prime Minister Milos Zeman compared Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat with Adolf Hitler.

Under Nazi occupation in World War II more than 90 percent of Czech Jews were murdered.

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