Slovakia is interested in strengthening its role in the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan but the Government is not inclined towards sending so-called combat troops, said Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico at a press conference in Bratislava on October 22 after meeting NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the TASR newswire wrote.
“But we would like our engineer unit to have more opportunities to carry out operations in various parts of Afghanistan. At the same time, we'd like to provide it with our own Slovak protection,” said Fico to TASR. The Slovak premier assured the head of NATO that despite the retrenched defence budget the country will meet all its commitments connected to its NATO membership. According to Rasmussen, it is important to realise that the main objective of the NATO troops in Afghanistan is to strengthen security.
As long as I'm the Slovak Prime Minister, Slovakia will never agree to any anti-missile shields being placed on our territory, Fico reiterated at the press conference. He stressed that he welcomes the change in plans of the US administration regarding the matter with its recent decision to modifiy plans to build an anti-missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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