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Karel Schwarzenberg, former Czech overseas minister and nobleman, dies at 85

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PRAGUE — Karel Schwarzenberg, a former Czech overseas minister and a member of a European noble household has died. He was 85.

Milroslav Kalousek, his long-term political ally, and the International Ministry confirmed on Sunday his dying.

“It’s with deep unhappiness and respect that we bear in mind Karel Schwarzenberg, who left us at this time,” the ministry stated. “As a two-time overseas minister and Vaclav Havel’s chancellor, he formed our overseas coverage and at all times proved together with his actions that that he was a real democrat.”

Schwarzenberg had been hospitalized in Prague since August with coronary heart and kidney issues and was flown a number of days in the past to a clinic in Vienna, the Austrian capital, the place he had lived for years.

“A giant man in all facets has died,” President Petr Pavel stated. “The service for his nation was a pure mission for him.”

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Born Dec. 10, 1937, in Prague, Schwarzenberg and his household needed to flee Czechoslovakia after the Communists took over in 1948 they usually lived in exile Austria. He studied regulation and forestry at universities in Vienna and Graz, Austria, and Munich, Germany, however however didn’t end his research as he needed to handle the household’s estates in Austria and the German state of Bavaria.

After the 1989 Velvet Revolution led by Vaclav Havel, Schwarzenberg returned dwelling and have become Havel’s chancellor — head of the presidential workplace — when the playwright turned politician was elected president.

Schwarzenberg served as overseas minister from 2007-2009. Throughout that point, he and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice signed an preliminary settlement to base a U.S. missile protect in Central and Jap Europe. The system designed to guard U.S. allies from a bellicose and unpredictable Iran was later scrapped by President Barack Obama.

In 2009, Schwarzenberg along with Kalousek established a conservative political get together, TOP 09, which he led till 2015 when he turned its honorary chairman.

He once more took over the overseas minister publish between 2010 and 2013.

In 2013, Schwarzenberg ran for the largely ceremonial publish of the Czech president however misplaced to the populist after which pro-Russian Milos Zeman in a runoff vote.

Earlier than his political profession, between 1984 and 1991, Schwarzenberg served as chairman of the Worldwide Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, a place that led him to hunt compliance with human rights in communist nations, together with his homeland.

Schwarzenberg helped established the Czechoslovak Documentation Heart, which was based mostly at his fortress in Scheinfeld, Bavaria. It was an establishment that collected banned literature and different supplies associated to anti-totalitarian resistance and impartial pondering in the course of the communist regime. Its collections at the moment are within the Nationwide Museum in Prague.

Schwarzenberg was a well-liked politician, recognized for his humor. When he was caught sleeping by photographers, he replied he sleeps “once they discuss silly.”

Schwarzenberg is survived by his spouse Therese, son Jan Nepomuk and daughter Anna Karolina.

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