Press Advisories

2. 9. 2012 12:00

Prime Minister Petr Nečas visits Czech troops in Afghanistan

At the weekend Prime Minister Petr Nečas made his first visit to Czech troops in Afghanistan. He spent Saturday at the base of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul, then moved on Sunday to the Shank base in Logar.

On Saturday 1st September, Prime Minister Nečas met General Adrian Bradshaw, second in command of ISAF in Kabul at an official meeting. The prime minister discussed with him in particular the military aspects of the ISAF mission in Afghanistan and the process of transition to the hands of Afghan security forces and the Afghan authorities.

Prime Minister Petr Nečas visits Czech troops in Afghanistan, 1st September 2012"The Czech Republic stands out here as a very solid and reliable partner. We clearly believe that we must pursue a strategy of "in together, out together." We're also able to respond very flexibly to the requirements. The Czech Republic has for example strengthened the air advisory team here in Kabul with thirty helicopter maintenance specialists. We also have our soldiers in Logar and Wardak. We wish to be a genuinely reliable ally and we also have a clear idea of what to do next with those units, i.e. transforming them into military advisory teams", said the prime minister after the meeting.

According to the prime minister the security situation has fluctuations, but cooperation between Afghan security forces and ISAF troops will lead to a gradual improvement in the security situation. "Together with Chief of the General Staff Peter Paul, we have also appreciated the strong support of units of the United States Army for Czech troops, allowing the latter to focus better on their tasks", said Prime Minister Nečas. The leadership of the ISAF mission very much appreciates the contribution of the Czech Republic, its reliability and the fact that the Czech Republic does not decrease the number of its soldiers in response to populist political pressures. "Of course there is strong interest here in further developing the Afghan security forces, i.e. an effort to have advisory teams not only in the military field, but also for example in the police, because a number of security challenges today are met by police forces rather than by military units", said Petr Nečas.

Prime Minister Petr Nečas visits Czech troops in Afghanistan, 2nd September 2012In Kabul the prime minister also met with Czech ambassador Petr Pelz. In the afternoon, he greeted members of the 5th Czech Army ISAF Task Force, praising their NATO medal contribution. "Even this short stay has strongly enhanced my admiration and gratitude to the soldiers of the Czech Army, because here they genuinely operate in extremely difficult conditions, risk their health and lives, and are here for the security of Europe, and therefore of the Czech Republic, fulfilling their combat tasks here; I have to say that as a citizen I am proud of them", he added. Later, Prime Minister Nečas met commanders from the Task Force, the National Support Element, units of chemical and biological defence, the aviation advisory team and field surgical team.

On Sunday 2nd September the delegation of Prime Minister Petr Nečas moved to the Shank forward operating base in Logar province, where the 10th Provincial Reconstruction Team operates. After meeting the commander of the military section the prime minister met members of the civilian part of the PRT, inspected military technology and had brief discussions with soldiers. The prime minister thanked the members of the PRT in particular for their work in hazardous environments such as Logar province and wished them a successful completion to their mission. "You are doing excellent work, you have my respect and I wish you a safe return home", the prime minister sent in a message to Czech soldiers at the Solthan Kheyl operations point in Waldak, where one of the terrorist attacks took place yesterday and where the prime minister in the end did not fly for security reasons.

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