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President meets Czech counterpart

A DRAFT treaty between the Czech and Slovak republics on the regime for their common border should be finalised by the respective governments and parliaments, the countries' presidents agreed in Prague on July 12.

Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič met President Václav Klaus on his first official visit abroad since being inaugurated on June 15, the news wire TASR wrote.

Klaus said that the issue of the treaty would be resolved only after a new government had been appointed in Prague, following the recent resignation of Prime Minister Vladimír Špidla.

Gašparovič considers the prepared tightening of the border between Slovakia and the Czech Republic unnecessary.

Petr Pithart, speaker of the Czech Senate, assured Gašparovič that the proposed limits to the movement of people living in the border regions would not pass in the Senate.

The agreement, which would put an end to a green border between the successor countries of the former Czechoslovak federation, designates 72 tourist crossings intended for EU citizens beyond the 22 official road and rail crossings. At the same time, it cancels the right of Czechs and Slovaks to cross the border freely.

The Czech Parliament has recently adjourned discussion of the agreement.

Klaus noted it symbolic that Gašparovič had made the Czech Republic the destination of his first foreign visit.

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