Illustrative photo – Meeting of President of the Republic Miloš Zeman with President-elect Petr Pavlo (pictured), February 13, 2023, Lány.
Prague – The foreign department of the Prague Castle will be led by a key Czech diplomat in Brussels, Jaroslav Zajíček, after the new president Petr Pavel takes office. The current Czech ambassador to Belarus Tomáš Pernický will be the director of the protocol. Markéta Řeháková, communications manager of President-elect Pavel, told ČTK today.
Photo gallery: President-elect Petr Pavel
Ambassador Zajíček currently works in Brussels as the permanent representative of the Czech Republic in the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER I). “What was decisive for me were not only his experience in diplomacy and knowledge of European politics, but also excellent references to the successful Czech presidency of the Council of the EU, to which Jaroslav Zajíček made a significant contribution,” explained Pavel, justifying his choice.
According to him, it is also important to have a common view of the priorities on which Czech foreign policy should be based. These also include strengthening relations with partners in the transatlantic area and emphasizing the values that are related to this. “I am pleased that I have the chance to contribute to the renaissance of an active foreign policy, so that our actions make it clear that the Czech Republic is a solid part of the community of democratic countries as well as a confident and trustworthy partner,” said Zajíček.
Pernický headed the embassies in Belarus and Georgia, and in the past led the diplomatic protocol at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “I appreciate the experience Tomáš Pernický gathered during his work on complicated diplomatic missions, whether in Belarus or earlier in Georgia and Ukraine, where he had to bear responsibility for complex decisions,” said Pavel.
Place the director of the foreign affairs department at Prague Castle has been vacant since the new ambassador of the Czech Republic in Bratislava, Rudolf Jindrák, left at the beginning of this year. The protocol department is headed by Vladimír Kruliš, who resigned at the end of January. According to speculation, he could head to head the office of the Czech National Bank.
The number two of the Czech Embassy in Brussels Zajíček now works as a representative of the permanent representative of the Czech Republic to the European Union. At the same time, he is a permanent representative of the Czech Republic in the Committee of Permanent Representatives of Member States (COREPER I) within the Council of the European Union. According to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, after studying at the University of Economics, he joined the diplomatic service of the Czech Republic in 1999. For the following four years, he was a member of the team negotiating the Czech Republic's membership in the EU. In 2003 he went to Brussels, where he spent more than six years in various positions. After returning to Prague in 2009, he became the director of the EU policy department. From November 2011 to July 2016, he served as Deputy Ambassador to the USA. He speaks English, French, Spanish, German and Russian.
Fifty-two-year-old Pernický also joined the Černín Palace after studying at the University of Economics in Prague. Consul General of the Czech Republic in Cape Town and Ambassador to Georgia. He heads the embassy in Belarus since 2018.