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Czech Republic: former Foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg dead

He was 85, served as chancellor to President Havel

12 November, 13:27

(ANSA) - PRAGA, 12 NOV - Former foreign minister and honorary chairman of the center-right Top 09 party, Karel Schwarzenberg, has died at the age of 85. This was announced on X by former Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek, explaining that Schwarzenberg died in a Vienna hospital, where he had been admitted last week. A close friend of former President Vaclav Havel, Schwarzenberg was one of the most important figures in post-Soviet Czech politics. Born in Prague in 1937 to a noble family forced to flee the country after the 1948 Communist coup by settling in Vienna, Schwarzenberg served as president of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights in the 1980s, working on human rights issues in the former USSR in Bulgaria, Kosovo and Czechoslovakia. He also co-founded the Czechoslovak Documentary Center in support of Czechoslovak exile and dissent, which was based in his family villa in Bavaria. After his return to then-Czechoslovakia in 1989, Schwarzenberg served as chancellor to President Vaclav Havel. He was then elected senator from 2004 to 2010 and served as foreign minister of the Czech Republic from 2007 to 2009 and again from 2010 to 2013. In 2009 Schwarzenberg founded, together with Kalousek, the Top 09 party, and in 2010 he was elected an MP. In the 2013 presidential election he lost in the runoff to Milos Zeman.

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