LN: Release of Czech man may help Egyptology in Sudan
Prague, Feb 28 (CTK) - The release of Czech citizen Petr Jasek from a Sudanese prison may restart the talks about cooperation of Czech and Sudanese Egyptologists, daily Lidove noviny (LN) writes yesterday.
Jasek, who was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for espionage and subversion in Sudan in January, returned to Prague on Sunday along with Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek who was negotiating about his release in Khartoum.
Sudanese President Omar Bashir granted pardon to Jasek and ordered his immediate release.
Jasek, together with three Africans, was accused of seven crimes in Sudan.
The Release International organisation previously said the four were prosecuted for financing anti-government movements in Darfur and South Kordofan, but in fact they wanted to help a Darfur student who suffered burns in a demonstration.
Although the circumstances of Jasek's release have not been uncovered in detail and it is unclear whether any financial compensation was in the game, the incident has reopened opportunities for the work of Czech Egyptologists in Sudan, LN writes.
"Yes, we discussed it, too. The talks also related to the archaeologists who have conducted their research in Sudan," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Michaela Lagronova is quoted as saying.
"They also stage expert seminars and conferences in the Czech Republic. The Sudanese want to take part in them. Four projects are involved," she added.
For Czech Egyptologists, the sites in Sudan are attractive, LN writes.
"For us, the Sudanese archaeology is complementary to what Czech Egyptologists do right in Egypt. This is given by the Nile River being the axis of both countries since the antiquity," Egyptologist Jaromir Krejci is quoted as saying.
Czech academics say the work in Sudan is also good because there is less red tape.
At present, Czechs Egyptologists work in the Sabaloka Mountains and the Usli locality in northern Sudan, LN writes.
Another expedition, from the National Museum, uncovers the past some 130 kilometres to the north of Khartoum, it adds.
Czech senators, too, support a closer academic cooperation. They would like to visit Sudan, but due to the case of Jasek, the trip was cancelled. Now the situation has changed.
Zaoralek said a restart of the two countries' collaboration in a number of spheres may follow.
"We will return to what was intended in the sphere of economic cooperation, the fight against terrorism and the cooperation in the migration issues," Zaoralek is quoted as saying.
A Czech business mission may travel to Sudan later this year.
"Two segments, water and energy, are being envisaged," Deputy Foreign Minister in charge of development cooperation Martin Tlapa is quoted as saying.
-- Sent from my Linux system.