Europe

Divisive Czech President Zeman to seek re-election in 2018

FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2016 file photo Czech Republic's President Milos Zeman reads a statement at the Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic. U.S. President Donald Trump’s European ally Milos Zeman says he wants to seek re-election in next year’s Czech presidential election. Zeman made a brief announcement on Thursday, March 9, 2017 at a meeting with his friends and supporters at the Prague Castle, the presidency seat, marking the fourth anniversary of his inauguration. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek, file)

FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2016 file photo Czech Republic's President Milos Zeman reads a statement at the Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic. U.S. President Donald Trump’s European ally Milos Zeman says he wants to seek re-election in next year’s Czech presidential election. Zeman made a brief announcement on Thursday, March 9, 2017 at a meeting with his friends and supporters at the Prague Castle, the presidency seat, marking the fourth anniversary of his inauguration. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek, file)  (The Associated Press)

Czech President Milos Zeman says he wants to seek re-election in next year's presidential election.

Zeman made a brief announcement on Thursday at a meeting with friends and supporters at the Prague Castle, the seat of the Czech Republic's largely ceremonial presidency.

Zeman, a European ally of U.S. President Donald Trump, was elected for his first five-year term in January 2013. Thursday was the fourth anniversary of his inauguration.

He divides the nation with his pro-Russia stance, anti-migrant rhetoric and support for closer ties with China.

But he remains popular and is thought at this time to face an easy road to re-election in early 2018.

Zeman was among the few European leaders who endorsed Trump. He has been invited to visit the White House in April.