During a meeting with Czech army leaders, Milos Zeman expressed concern that the Czech Republic, along with other Western countries, is condemned to continue its military presence in Afghanistan, fighting against Islamic terrorism.
"We are doomed to stay in Afghanistan, defending our country's interests. Leaving this country means showing cowardice, abandoning our interests, as well as a disavowal of the heroism of our soldiers who perished over there. I will support a possible surge (in the number of Czech troops), because only by applying this exact approach, and never by leaving the battlefield, can we counter Islamic terrorism," Zeman said.
NATO's mission "Resolute Support" in Afghanistan was launched on January 1, 2015. It consists of around 16,000 troops from 41 countries. The official aim of the mission is "to help the Afghan security forces and institutions develop the capacity to defend Afghanistan and protect its citizens in a sustainable manner."
Since November 2, 2018, the number of Czech personnel has been 348, according to the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic. The Czech contingent is deployed in Parwan Province in Afghanistan, where they maintaining security for Bagram Airfield.
Between August and October 4, several Czech soldiers were killed in Afghanistan, subsequently being buried as heroes with military honours.