Press Advisories

5. 3. 201015:57

A.F. Rasmussen Appreciates Czech Participation in Afghanistan

The NATO secretary general also discussed a new strategic concept for the alliance with Prime Minister Jan Fischer

After the meeting, Prime Minister Fischer said the Czech Republic will actively take part in the creation of its new strategy. According to him, this is not only a technical, but a deeply political document. The new NATO strategy deals with global security as a whole and the alliance's activity in this global measure. It has two basic pillars. The first pillar relates to protecting the alliance's territory; the second is the alliance's activities on missions outside its territory. People such as Madeleine Albright, a Czech native and the first woman to serve as the US secretary of state, actively took part in the preparation of the new alliance strategy. The strategy should add new dynamism to the alliance, enabling it to face the threats of the 21st century such as terrorism and cyberattacks.

The main point of today's meeting, however, was above all the participation of Czech soldiers in Afghanistan. Secretary General A. F. Rasmussen appreciated the Czech Republic's participation thus far in alliance missions. He presented the activities of the Czech Provincial Reconstruction Team as an excellent example of how the allies should continue to direct their activities. The Czech Republic's first engagement should be to train, educate and prepare Afghan police and military forces to take their country back under their own administration.

At the same time, the NATO secretary general marked the last year in Afghanistan as very complicated. In his words, he is appealing to all countries of the alliance to contribute to the training of the Afghan police and army and to join the fight against corruption and drug production. Through its highest officer, NATO wants to hand the administration and protection of individual provinces back to Afghans as soon as possible.

A. F. Rasmussen also repeated that protecting the territories of NATO members begins far beyond its borders. He also said that if NATO is to effectively face the threats of the 21st century, it must also focus on building a missile defence shield which will protect member states and their inhabitants.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen will also meet today with Foreign Minister Jan Kohout, representatives of the Czech army, and the chairmen of the two largest political parties, Mirek Topolánek and Jiří Paroubek. He especially wants to appeal to them to have the Chamber of Deputies support the government's proposal to strengthen the Czech mission in Afghanistan. After the meeting with Jan Fischer, he said he has strong arguments prepared and that he believes in constructive discussion.