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Prague Mayor, Other Czechs Oppose Yanukovych Visit

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych (left) and Czech counterpart Milos Zeman walk in front of the guard of honor during a ceremony in Kyiv in October.
Some influential Czechs are opposing President Milos Zeman's invitation to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to visit Prague.

Mayor Tomas Hudecek, quoted by the Czech News Agency, said Prague City Hall will not be involved in helping organize the visit, planned for April.

The mayor cited the ongoing confrontation in Ukraine between Yanukovych and antigovernment protesters who are demanding his resignation.

Several hundred Czechs, including celebrities and political figures, have signed a petition calling for the cancellation of Yanukovych's visit.

Organizers cite the clashes in Ukraine between security forces and demonstrators, and moves by Ukrainian authorities to restrict civic rights.

A spokesman for Zeman said the president, who visited Ukraine in October, has no plans to rescind the invitation.

The spokesman said Zeman supports a dialogue among all the Ukrainian parties, including Yanukovych.

Based on reporting by CTK