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Slovakia to train Iraqis to use Božena mine-clearance device

Slovakia will provide training to Iraqi military engineers to help them use Slovak-made Božena mine-clearance devices, Slovak Defence Minister Ľubomír Galko said after meeting Iraqi Ambassador to Slovakia Matheel Dhayif Majeed Al-Sabti on Wednesday, February 16, the TASR newswire reported.

Slovakia will provide training to Iraqi military engineers to help them use Slovak-made Božena mine-clearance devices, Slovak Defence Minister Ľubomír Galko said after meeting Iraqi Ambassador to Slovakia Matheel Dhayif Majeed Al-Sabti on Wednesday, February 16, the TASR newswire reported.

Although the training programme, which was supposed to take place in Slovakia, was planned by the former government, it was never carried out. Iraq owns 28 Boženas, but its engineers haven’t been trained to use them properly. “I believe that in co-operation with NATO we’ll manage to do this,” said Galko. Slovakia is specifically responsible for providing training to engineers from NATO-member countries in Trenčín.

The Iraqi ambassador stated that the concerns of Slovak entrepreneurs vis-a-vis investing in Iraq are unnecessary, and that businesses from other countries are engaging more actively in reconstructing Iraq. “They [Slovak companies] may have unjustified concerns about security and stability. The situation in the country is calm, however,” said Al-Sabti.

Galko also met Cypriot Ambassador Marios Kountourides, who praised Slovakia’s engagement in the UNFICYP peacekeeping operation in Cyprus. Galko said that apart from the traditionally above-standard relations with the Czech Republic, his closest relations are with Cyprus.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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