The Czech Republic respects the agreement of the ministers of defense and foreign affairs of NATO states on the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and is ready to do its part, confirmed Lubomír Metnar, Czech minister of defense.
As NATO reports, the drawdown will commence on May 1st.
“We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan, hoping to create ideal conditions for the withdrawal and expecting a different result,” said US President Joe Biden in his ardent speech on Wednesday.
He declared that “it is time to end the forever war” and promised that US troops would leave Afghanistan by September 11th.
All NATO members, including the Czech Republic, followed suit and made a statement, in which they pronounced they would start removing troops next month.
“In light of… recognizing that there is no military solution to the challenges Afghanistan faces, Allies have determined that we will start the withdrawal of Resolute Support Mission forces by May 1”, was stated in the press release of the alliance.
“NATO Allies and partners will continue to stand with Afghanistan, its people, and its institutions in promoting security and upholding the gains of the last 20 years. Withdrawing our troops does not mean ending our relationship with Afghanistan. Rather, this will be the start of a new chapter,” NATO members added.
The readiness to remove Czech forces from the country was confirmed by the Czech minister of defense Lubomír Metnar, who made a Twitter post after an extraordinary videoconference session with NATO states.
“We have always said that we will not do anything on our own, and we must address the issue of the Afghan mission collectively. We respect today’s alliance agreement and are ready to withdraw Czech troops as well. We will coordinate our further assistance with our allies and remain ready to fight terrorism,” Metnar asserted.
The long-standing International Security Assistance Force alliance mission in Afghanistan closed at the end of 2014, and a new advise and assist mission Resolute Support has been underway in the country ever since.
The Czech army can currently have up to 205 soldiers in Afghanistan according to the approved mandate. Since 2002, several thousand of them have been replaced in the country. 14 Czech soldiers died on the mission.