Prime Minister introduces the new Czech Minister of Defence to her office

Following the inauguration of the new cabinet by the President of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman, on Wednesday, December 13th, 2017, the newly appointed Prime Minister, Andrej Babis, presented Karla Slechtova to the Defence Minister’s office the same day.

Andrej Babis and Karla Slechtova at the MoD press foyer
Andrej Babis and Karla Slechtova at the MoD press foyer

In the press foyer at the Ministry of Defence, Prime Minister Babis first thanked the outgoing Defence Minister, Martin Stropnicky, for his work and continued: “The defence of our citizens and Europe is a crucial task for us now, and we have tended to underestimate our military department over the past years. We have the second smallest armed forces in Europe, but now it is essential for the military to implement the investment projects which have been set up for the near future."

"I will continue the work of my predecessor and, of course, I will meet the commitments of the Czech Republic to NATO, the European Union and the United Nations. I am pleased, humbled and honoured to accept this post," said Minister Karla Slechtova.

Ms Slechtova later went on to say that she believes it is necessary for the military to be a highly operational and functional force and, therefore, she will continue to focus on investment into people and the procurement of modern equipment. She will carry on with the current transparent policy in all acquisition processes and continue to fully support Czech industry and local manufacturers.

"I am aware that my new position may be a challenge for the whole defence department and the soldiers, and I am very much looking forward to our future cooperation," concluded Minister Slechtova.

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By Nuala Casey and Oldrich Holecek

December 15, 2017