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Minister Petříček in Afghanistan: The whole region needs stabilization, our soldiers are doing a great job
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Minister Petříček in Afghanistan: The whole region needs stabilization, our soldiers are doing a great job

 

Two months before planning the presidential elections the Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomáš Petříček visited Afghanistan. The goal of the visit was to not only obtain information about the situation in the country, but to support the peace process, the taking place of the presidential elections and also to support the 350 Czech soldiers which are in the country on a NATO mission. It happens to be the biggest foreign mission for the Czech army in decades.

The situation in Afghanistan, the relations of the local government with the United States and even NATO and their further support was discussed between Petříček and the CEO (Chief Executive) of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah. “The situation is possible to be resolved in the future only through peace talks, where all parts of the Afghan society come together to one table. It is primarily a domestic process, but the international community needs to support it, as well as the key players of the region also need to behave responsibly. The country has enormous potential, but until the country becomes safe, it is not possible to utilize the potential,” described Petříček.

The second most influential person of the Afghan government admitted that the situation in the country and the whole region is complicated, but he valued the Czech help in terms of coalition units, civil and development assistance. “More international support is needed, because on the 28th of September there will be the presidential elections taking place. We made big progress, which is necessary to protect. For example the right for everyone to vote. We appreciate your visit and the complications you have encountered, pain me” he told Petříček. At the beginning of the minister’s journey in Kabul there were complications due to a series of bomb attacks of the Taliban, during which many innocent people lost their lives. Petříček on this account personaly wished his deepest condolences to Abdullah.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Salahuddin Rabbani also commented on the attacks during the meeting: “Today’s attacks again unfortunately showed, that the Taliban has not changed, they do not want peace and stability, even if they say so. If we should move forwards, everyone needs to be honest, including our neighbors.”

Both politicians also spoke about the Czech effort to help renew the country’s security and prosperity. “Czechia apart from the operations within Afghanistan engages in the help for example through training Afghan pilots or the repairing of helicopters.” recalled the Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs. “Yes, the training of pilots plays a key role for us, it is very helpful and I hope, that it will continue even in the future.” Rabbani appreciated the Czech contribution. Petříček also emphasized during the meeting, that the international support including the Czech, is bounded by a progressive reform of the country.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs also met with Czech soldiers in Kabul, as well as at the base in Bargram. Apart from the debate with the Generals he also took part in a discussion with several dozens of soldiers, during which he was interested in knowing whether the soldiers have everything they need for their work and how do they cope with being separated from their families. “I am proud of our soldiers and the work they are carrying out in Afghanistan. They are completing their their joint military mission in harsh conditions with excellence. I have heard the appreciation of their work many times from the Generals of NATO and the representatives of the Afghan government,” Petříček summarized.

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Minister Petříček in Afghanistan: The whole region needs stabilization, our soldiers are doing a great job

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