Over 4,500 soldiers deployed during presidency

Defence minister praises the performance of his department.

Defence Minister Peter GajdošDefence Minister Peter Gajdoš (Source: TASR)

Slovakia’s Armed Forces deployed over 4,500 of their members during the country’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2016.

“Military police officers coordinated dispatchers and minivan drivers and together with Interior Ministry units, were involved in the protection and transport of officials, while also performing other tasks,” Defence Ministry spokesperson Danka Capáková said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

A total of 130 military police officers were deployed, putting in over 9,000 working hours and racking up close to 60,000 kilometres on the road, she added.

Read also:Fico: Slovakia did well presiding over the EU Council Read more 

The ministry organised an informal meeting of the defence ministers of EU-member countries in Bratislava in September, as well as a number of other events. Defence Minister Peter Gajdoš (nominee for the Slovak National Party) recognised the fact that no unforeseen occurrences disrupted the course of events.

“We handled our first ever presidency very well and as far as issues concerning the Defence Ministry went, we made significant progress,” Gajdoš said, as quoted by TASR. “I highly appreciate the fact that High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini and NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, attended the informal meeting in Bratislava and we followed up on previously discussed topics at a meeting in Brussels in November.”

The minister also thanked all those involved for their competent handling of their work.

“Slovakia proved that it is a fully-fledged member of the European Union and that we’re capable of coping extraordinarily well with such difficult tasks,” Gajdoš added, as quoted by TASR.

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