According to diplomatic sources, the Nigerian move may be related to Czech support for Israel in the UN. Opposition MPs from the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House also put this in context.
The Czech government delegation was supposed to move from Kenya to Nigeria, where it was supposed to visit as part of a tour of Africa. “Nigeria has informed us that it is unable to provide an adequate reception and program (including a business forum), so we have agreed to cancel the visit,” government spokesman Václav Smolka told Novinkám.
He clarified that the announcement from the Nigerian side came on Monday evening.
Fiala, who has been on a week-long visit to sub-Saharan Africa since Friday evening, was scheduled to visit a total of five countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast. The program published on the government website now only mentions four destinations.
Apparently, the delegation will stay longer in Kenya than originally planned. “It would not be realistic to organize a visit to another country at the last minute, we are working on adjusting the program,” added Smolka.
Opposition: Support for Israel is to blame
Members of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee from among the opposition relate the cancellation of the visit to the support that the Czech Republic expresses for Israel.
According to Member of Parliament Jaroslav Bžoch (ANO), African countries are divided in their opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “If support for Palestine prevails in any of the countries, and our representatives are photographed at pro-Israeli demonstrations, its approach is understandable. They don’t want to have a worse security situation because of the visit,” he said.
In this context, he recalled the news about the cancellation of the trip of Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela (STAN) to Saudi Arabia last week.