Press Releases

9. 5. 2008 11:24

May 8th 2008: The Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek flew to visit the Czech soldiers in Afghanistan

Today the Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek visited the Czech military units in Afghanistan. A special trip abroad was necessary due to the circumstances of the past week, when one Czech soldier was killed and others injured in an explosion in the province of Logar.

“I come to see you on this May 8th, a day when we celebrate a victory in the battle for freedom in one of the worst wars. Even you here in Afghanistan are fighting for freedom not on for this country, but also for our country and for all of us. I am 52 and most of you are the age of my older children. And when any one of you gets killed or injured, I have a feeling as if this would happen to my children,” said during his visit in Afghanistan the Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek.

The Prime Minister has at first stopped in the field hospital and the ISAF chemical unit, which are a part of the 4th contingent of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic and the Armed Forces of Slovakia at the international airport in Kabul. Afterwards, the Prime Minister has moved to the American base Shank in the Logar Province, which serves as headquarters for the provincial rebuilding team of the ISAF Czech Republic. There are about 100 Czech Army soldiers in Kabul, and in Logar there are about 200 people.

The Prime Minister Topolánek thanked the Czech soldiers in Afghanistan for their great commitment, heroism and bravery, which they are displaying in this foreign mission. “There is no tougher decision for a Prime Minister to make than to send his men and women into war. I would never sign my name under such decision if I was not sure that it makes sense. I follow the situation here continuously and in detail, and it is here in Logar where I promise you that you will have all the support and technology, which you need. This is a clear objective for the Ministry of Defence. I am proud of you!” said the Premier.

The unit in Logar is comprised of a military and civilian part. The core of the military part of the contingent is made up of soldiers from the 102nd reconnaissance battalion. The contingent is made up of headquarter, defensive units, military police, civilian-military cooperation units and elements of logistics and medical support, including a team for disposal of live ammunition and explosives.

Provincial rebuilding teams are a specialized military unit in which soldiers and civilians are working together. Their task is to strengthen security and stability, to financially and organizationally help in the rebuilding of the war and conflict stricken and damaged country. There currently are a total of 26 such teams on the entire territory of Afghanistan. To provide security and stability for Afghanistan is a priority for NATO. The objective of the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) operation is to help the Afghan government in ensuring security and stability in a country in such a way that Afghanistan can become a sovereign and independent state firmly in control of its territory.

Jana Bartošová, spokesperson for the Czech government

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