21:02 GMT +316 December 2018
Listen Live
    A soldier of Bravo Company, 1 Rifles launches a Desert Hawk UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) from a WMIK Landrover during an operation near Garmsir, Afghanistan.

    Czech President: We Are Doomed to Stay in Afghanistan

    CC BY 2.0 / Dave Husbands
    World
    Get short URL
    3112

    The Czech Republic, one of the countries contributing to the NATO mission in Afghanistan, has lost a number of military personnel serving there in recent months.

    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.

    READ MORE: Five Czech Soldiers Injured Near US Bagram Base in Afghanistan

    Earlier, in August 2018, Milos Zeman defended the Czech participation in NATO's mission from verbal attacks by some political parties. Addressing Czech ambassadors, Zeman said that Czech soldiers are fighting in Afghanistan for Prague, adding that the country's military presence is critical to its national interests, Radio Praha reported.

    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.

    Related:

    Czech Cabinet Agrees $13Mln in Funding for Turkey Under EU Migrant Deal
    Czech Senate Urges Prime Minister Babis to Resign Amid Fraud Probe
    Czech Ex-FM Under Fire for Slamming NATO Mission in Afghanistan - Politician
    Five Czech Soldiers Injured Near US Bagram Base in Afghanistan
    Tags:
    soldier, Resolute Support, NATO, Milos Zeman, Afghanistan, Czech Republic
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik