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Czech Republic Diplomat visits University

10th February, 2012

The Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Fiji, His Excellency, Dr Hynek Kmonicek recently paid a courtesy call to the University of the South Pacific.

H.E. Dr Kmonicek who is based in Canberra, Australia, was in Fiji on an official visit from 1 - 5 February, 2012. He is a long serving diplomat and has also served twice as the Czech Republic’s Deputy Foreign Minister.

With academic expertise ranging from political history to Islamic and Hebrew studies, H.E. Dr Kmonicek has lectured at a number of universities around the world.

During his visit to the Laucala Campus in Suva, H.E. Dr Kmonicek met with members of the University’s Senior Management Team including the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Susan Kelly.

Welcoming H.E. Dr Kmonicek, Professor Kelly noted that the University was delighted by the Ambassador’s visit. She said that as the premier institution of higher learning in the region, USP is keen to engage further with the broader international community in the key areas of learning, teaching and particularly, research; adding that USP already receives very valuable support from the EU.

H.E. Dr Kmonicek was enthusiastic about potential research and staff and student exchange partnerships between USP and universities in the Czech Republic. He listed renewable energy, tourism, climate change and language teaching as some key areas for such partnerships.

The Ambassador agreed to work with USP to make contact with Czech universities, to explore mutual research interests and identify programmes that could be of interest to USP.

Professor Kelly thanked the Czech people for reaching out in this way, observing that USP students and staff would benefit greatly by collaborating with Czech universities, one of which, Charles University, is the second oldest in the world.

In addition to serving Fiji, H.E. Dr Kmonicek will serve as Ambassador to other countries in the region including Australia, New Zealand, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Samoa and Vanuatu.

**********

ENDS

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