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Official Visit of Josef ”Tuusi” Motzfeldt in the Czech Republic

Josef ”Tuusi” Motzfeldt, Speaker of the Greenlandic Parliament (Inatsisartut) with delegation paid an official visit to the Czech Republic on 5 – 9 September 2010.

Gajdůšková-Tuusi
The Greenlandic delegation  was invited to Czechia by Alena Gajdůšková, First Vice-President of the Senate Photo: Martin Vlček/Senate PCR

Josef ”Tuusi” Motzfeldt, Speaker of the Greenlandic Parliament (Inatsisartut) with delegation (Ellen Kolby Chemnitz, Director of the Office of the Inatsisartut, and Elly Hauge Pedersen, the Speaker’s assistant) paid an official visit to the Czech Republic on 5 – 9 September 2010. The guests were accompanied by Ole Moesby, Danish Ambassador to the Czech Republic, and Zdeněk Lyčka, Czech Ambassador to Denmark. The Greenlandic visit at such a level was the first one outside the Nordic countries. It was a reciprocal visit to the official visit of the Senate’s Committee on Public Administration, Regional Development and the Environment headed by the Senate’s First Vice-President Alena Gajdůšková to Greenland on 2 – 5 October 2009.

Sobotka-Tuusi
Senate’s President Přemysl Sobotka (left) and Josef Motzfeldt
Photo: Martin Vlček/Senate PCR

The visit attracted a huge political attention, because of the potential to develop the Czech-Greenlandic relations. The Greenlandic delegation met with Senate’s President Přemysl Sobotka, two Senate Committees (the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Security and the Committee on EU Affairs) and Karel Schwarzenberg, First Vice-Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs. Miroslava Němcová, President of the House of Deputies of the Czech Parliament, Alena Gajdůšková, First Vice-President of the Senate, and Ivo Bárek, Head of the Senate’s Committee on Public Administration, Regional Development and the Environment hosted three official dinners. Josef Motzfeldt held a lecture at the Faculty of Law, Charles University in Prague, followed by a discussion with academics and students.

Dienstbier
Negotiations with the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security headed by J. Dienstbier (second from left) Photo: Martin Vlček/Senate PCR

Sefzig
Negotiations with the Committee on EU Affairs headed by L. Sefzig (second from right)
Photo: Martin Vlček/Senate PCR

During the meetings and working lunches, the problems of global warming (breaking of the inland ice, its melting and falling into the sea, increasing the water level in the world’s oceans) and general protection of  the environment, the development of tourism, the export possibilities of  Czech firms in Greenland (the mining equipment, weapons for hunting, etc.), the importance of protection and continuation of the traditional seals and whales hunting, the access to and the exploitation of Greenland’s natural wealth, Greenland’s relations to EU, development in the Arctic area, etc., were discussed.

Němcová
Working lunch with Miroslava Němcová, President of the House of Deputies (left, in the middle)

Bárek
Presents exchanging after the working lunch with Ivo Bárek, Head of the Senate’s Committee on Public Administration, Regional Development and the Environment (left)
Photo: Martin Vlček/Senate PCR

Gajdůšková - delegace
Participants of the solemn lunch, arranged by Alena Gajdůšková: (from left) Senator Karel Šebek, Senate’s Vice-President Jiří Liška, Ole Moesby /Danish Ambassador to the Czech Republic/, Alena Gajdůšková, Josef Motzfeldt, his assistant Elly Hauge Pedersen, Ellen Kolby Chemnitz /Director of the Office of the Inatsisartut/, Jiří Dientsbier, Zdeněk Lyčka /Czech Ambassador to Denmark/ Photo: Martin Vlček/Senate PCR

Lyčka-Řehák
Inauguration of the Czech translation of the book “The Culture of Greenland in Glimpses“ in the Municipal Library in Prague: Director Tomáš Řehák (right) and translator Zdeněk Lyčka

Lyčka-Tuusi
More than 100 guests were present at the inauguration

The visit was ”framed” by several cultural activities in the Municipal Library in Prague, where the Czech edition of Ole G. Jensen’s bestseller The Culture of Greenland in Glimpses translated by Zdeněk Lyčka was inaugurated (the book was published by Triton Publishing House with the financial support of the Danish company DSV). At the same time, two  photo exhibitions were officially opened: Greenland – a land of diminishing ice (by Alena and Jaroslav Klempíř) and Tasiilaq – the most beautiful town in Greenland? (by Ole G. Jensen). The Library’s Director, Tomáš Řehák, welcomed more than one hundred guests, who also could hear a few Greenlandic and Czech songs by the children’s choir Hájíček.

Hájíček
Children’s choir ”Hájíček” played and sang a few Greenlandic songs

During the visit, the Greenlandic delegation attended the opera performance Don Giovanni at Prague Estates Theatre (Stavovské divadlo), visited the Strahov-Library, Jan Deyl’s conservatoire and school for visually handicapped and blind children, but also Prague Castle, Wallenstein Palace and the Tein Church where the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe is buried. Josef Motzfeldt made a 45 minutes’ interview for the TV channel ČT 24.

The first historical, official visit of the Greenlandic delegation to the Czech Republic has strengthened a promising development of Czech-Danish relations and has become a great promise for the future.