14. 4. 2013 12:58
Prime Minister spends weekend with Czech soldiers in Afghanistan
On Saturday the Prime Minister was received by Afghan President Hamid Karzai at his residence. They spoke together of the security situation after 2014, economic collaboration on building railway lines and the possibility of the use of L-159 aircraft.
"President Karzai and I discussed specific economic collaboration, for example in the development of transport infrastructure. We are able to supply goods such as track for the development of railway transport. Afghanistan needs railways for its links to Central Asia", Prime Minister Nečas said following the discussions.
As a country with a strong industrial tradition, the Czech Republic is a supplier of cement works and other engineering products. "I told the President that I would be very pleased if the next visit by a senior representative of the Czech Republic to Afghanistan could be accompanied by a trade mission. I would welcome it if agreement were reached on specific projects. Economic development is possible here, even in spite of the security risks which exist here", the Prime Minister said.
There was also discussion of arms industry collaboration. "As an example, our L-39 aircraft are in use here in Afghanistan, including the option to use the new L-159 aircraft which have been developed recently", the Prime Minister added.
Prime Minister: We are planning for further involvement of our soldiers in Afghanistan
Even after the withdrawal of most of its army units in 2014, the Czech Republic is preparing to take part in the mission as part of NATO, which will contribute to the training of the Afghan armed forces. "Even now the mission is changing, since for example the work of our Provincial Reconstruction Team has ended, as will the work of the so-called training and contact team in Wardak province. Both of these units will be replaced by a military advisory and training team, so we are planning for a progressive reduction in our involvement", said Prime Minister Nečas.
On Saturday the Prime Minister also visited a hospital in Kabul, as well as Czech soldiers at the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) base. The Prime Minister spent Sunday with leader of the Czech general staff Petr Pavel at the Soltan Kheyl base in Wardak, where the Prime Minister emphasised that Czech soldiers have an outstanding reputation not only in terms of their professional quality, but also for their ability to establish good relations with members of the Afghan army and also with the local population.
Following an inspection of the camp he moved with his escort by Black Hawk helicopter to the military base in Logar province, where there was a short briefing with the commanders of the units deployed in this area. He held talks in addition with the commander of the 11th unit on progress with the withdrawal of materiel following the termination of the work of the Provincial Reconstruction Team located here. The Prime Minister returned home during the afternoon.