Press Advisories

12. 7. 2018 20:36

At NATO Summit, Prime Minister Babiš confirmed further Czech support for Afghanistan

Press Conference of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and First Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček at the NATO Summit in Brussels, 12 July 2018.
Press Conference of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and First Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček at the NATO Summit in Brussels, 12 July 2018.
On Thursday, 12 July 2018, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš attended the second day of the NATO summit in Brussels, where he substituted President Miloš Zeman. Today’s talks focused on continuing NATO security cooperation with Georgia and Ukraine, as well as on further alliance support in Afghanistan. The statesmen also continued to debate the increase in defence spending for individual member states.

The Czech delegation also included the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Hamáček.

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš commenced his programme by attending the meeting between NATO member states and the presidents of Georgia and Ukraine. These countries are NATO partners and aspire to become members of the Alliance.

Among the items on the meeting's agenda was also defence spending of individual countries

“It's important to talk about total military spending. In 2013, we spent 1.03% and in 2019 1.17% of the GDP, the difference being only 0.14%. But if we consider the total amount, with spending at CZK 42 billion in 2013 and at CZK 65.6 billion in 2019, we have increased our defence spending by 50 percent over six years”, said Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, adding that the Czech Republic will reach 2% of GDP by 2024. He also added that it is necessary to change the system of purchasing military equipment and ensure that tenders are fully transparent.

Subsequently, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš attended a meeting between NATO and the partners of the Resolute Support mission. The mission aims to maintain stability in Afghanistan, mainly through the provision of training and advisory services to Afghan security forces. At present, a total of 39 countries are involved.

The Czech Republic supports the alliance mission in Afghanistan and is one of the most active contributors to military capacities. According to Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, the Czech Republic will increase its military presence from 250 to 390 people and intends to continue providing financial support. Annually it contributes CZK 40 million to the support for the Afghan Defence and Security Forces and further development of the country, and has decided to extend the financial support until 2024. At the summit, Prime Minister Babiš also stressed the need to maintain stability in Afghanistan, mainly to limit migration and terrorism.

At NATO Summit on 11–11 July 2018 at the NATO's headquarters, Alliance leaders acknowledged the importance of transatlantic ties, discussed the financial commitments of the NATO summit in Wales, relations with Russia, and the modernization of the Alliance and the reform of its command structures.

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