Minister Slechtova confident of mission effectiveness and praises Czech soldiers’ accomplishments during her visit to Afghanistan

"The Soldiers and allies have convinced me of the immence importance of the Resolute Support Mission, and the Allied commanders also confirmed that the Czech units rank as one the most significant contributors to the mission", said Minister of Defence Karla Slechtova at the end of her visit.

Commanders of the Czech and American units with the Czech Minister of Defence at Bagram Air Field Base
Commanders of the Czech and American units with the Czech Minister of Defence at Bagram Air Field Base

During her visit to the Kabul and Bagram Air Field (BAF) bases in Afghanistan, Minister of Defence Karla Slechtova was accompanied by the Deputy Minister of Defence, Jakub Landovsky and the Director of the Joint Operations Centre, Major General Jiri Verner.

Her primary goal was to meet with the soldiers and talk to them about their duties, missions and equipment, their terms and conditions of service, and other obligations and requirements. Minister Slechtova then inspected and familiarised herself with the soldiers’ materiel and vehicles used at both bases.

As well as meeting with the Czech units’ commanders, Minister Slechtova also had talks with the Commander of the Resolute Support Mission, General John Nicholson, and Commander of the BAF Base, General Leopoldo A. Quintas.

She discussed the current security situation in Afganistan, recently hit by a wave of terrorist attacks, with the Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, and Minister of Defence, Tariq Shah Bahrami, and also spoke about the Czech contribution to the training of the Afghan Armed Forces personnel. Both the representatives were in high praise of the Czech input, which they agreed was an important and valuable addition to the Afgan military.

Before her departure, Minister Slechtova told the soldiers: "You are right in the middle of this conflict protecting the Czech Republic against the spread of terrorism, as well as controlling illegal migration to Europe, but Afghanistan, unfortunately, is still a very dangerous place. You are doing extremely well in this demanding environment. I am proud and delighted to have met such confident, motivated and well trained soldiers, and I am convinced that you deserve our appreciation, gratitude and complete support."

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By Nuala Casey and Oldrich Holecek

February 1, 2018