Czech Republic gets foreign minister after migration delay

PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic’s center-left government has a full-time foreign minister in place after a dispute over migration delayed an appointment for months.

Czech President Milos Zeman appointed Tomas Petricek to the post on Tuesday. The 37-year-old Petricek was the nominee of the Social Democrats, the coalition government’s junior partner.

Zeman refused to swear in the original candidate, European Parliament member Miroslav Poche. Poche supported a European Union plan that would require the Czech Republic to accept some refugees, while the president and prime minister opposed it.

Since the government led by Prime Minister Andrej Babis’ centrist ANO movement took office June, the chairman of the Social Democrats had served as both interior and foreign minister.

Petricek, a former assistant to Poche, prefers to help the refugees outside the EU.

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