Government to offer troops for Afghan and Mali missions

The Czech government is ready to offer its forces for NATO missions in Mali and Afghanistan in the next two years, prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka said at the start of a five-day meeting with Czech ambassadors, adding that Czech aircraft will also be offered to protect NATO airspace. According to the prime minister the government will present a final proposal on the country’s foreign missions to Parliament by the end of this year. Minister of Foreign Affairs Lubomír Zaorálek said that Czech participation in foreign missions needs to have a clear political goal. There are currently 300 Czechs serving in Afghanistan, 38 in Mali and 14 are taking part in the international observer mission in the Sinai.