Press Advisories

27. 8. 2017 23:56

Prime Minister Sobotka met al-Abadi and Czech soldiers in Iraq

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka met Czech soldiers serving in the Balad Base, 27 August 2017.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka met Czech soldiers serving in the Balad Base, 27 August 2017.
The Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Bohuslav Sobotka visited the Republic of Iraq on 26 and 27 August 2017. He met Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, President Fuad Masum, and Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament Salim al-Jabouri. The main topics of the discussions included participation of the CR in the coalition against Daesh, the security situation, and participation of the CR in the reconstruction of Iraq. During his visit, the Prime Minister also met Czech soldiers serving in the Balad Base.

On his visit, Prime Minister Sobotka was accompanied by Josef Bečvář, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic, and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence.

The main topics of the Prime Minister Sobotka's meeting with the high representatives of the Republic of Iraq during his visit in Baghdad included involvement of the CR in the Global Coalition Against Daesh, and bilateral cooperation with a focus on security and defence and participation of the CR in the reconstruction of Iraq. The subject of the talks was also economy, restoration and modernization of transport infrastructure and the energy sector. The discussions also touched upon the security situation in Iraq and in the Middle East region, including Syria.

Prime Minister Sobotka met Czech soldiers serving in Iraq as part of the Operation Inherent Resolve at the Air Base Balad. A total of 35 members of the Czech Army's Air Advisory Team were sent based on Resolution of the Government of the CR No. 276 of March 2016. Their task is to provide the Iraqi Air Force with training and advisory services in the fight against the Islamic State in connection with the use of Czech combat aircraft L-159. They should serve there until 31 December 2018.

Prime Minister personally thanked the soldiers for their hard work they are doing in the difficult conditions of Iraq, thus contributing to the fight against terrorism. The soldiers received Czech food gift packages from the Prime Minister.

During his visit to the base, Prime Minister Sobotka also talked to the commander of the Iraqi Air Force Anwar Hamad Amin, who evaluated the activities and assistance of Czech members as indispensable and highly professional. Prime Minister Sobotka was introduced to detailed tasks and activities of the Czech Army's Air Advisory Team with the team leader.

The Prime Minister also visited the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad and met the Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs I. al-Jaafari.

Prime Minister Sobotka visited the Republic of Iraq for the first time. It was the first foreign trip of the Czech Prime Minister to Iraq since 2011, when then Prime Minister Petr Nečas visited Iraq. The last Iraqi visit to the Czech Republic at the Prime Minister level took place in October 2012, when Nouri al-Maliki visited the CR.

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