Czech Defence News of the Week (26 October – 2 November 2018)

Czech Defence News of the Week (26 October – 2 November 2018)
Author: Jana Deckerova, army.cz|Caption: Parade 2018
05 / 11 / 2018, 09:30

Czech Republic commemorated and celebrated the birth of independent Czechoslovakia (28th October 1918) - Police President Major General Tomáš Tuhý has left his post to become ambassador to Slovakia - Former Minister of Defence Martin Stropnický will serve as Czech ambassador to Israel - Major investment in the Czech Police force planed by the Minister of Interior - national conference “Our Security Cannot Be Taken for Granted” was held under the auspices of Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček and Minister of Defence Lubomír Metnar on 1st November - according to PM Babiš Czech Republic will withdraw from the United Nations pact on migration - and will continue it’s deployment in Afghanistan alongside its allies

  • At the occasion of the centenary of the birth of Czechoslovakia, on 28th October, President Miloš Zeman handed out state distinctions to selected personalities. Among the historical figures honoured in memoriam there was Antonín Švehla, who served three terms as the prime minister of Czechoslovakia in the years of the First Republic, and three generals of the First Republic: Josef Bílý, Stanislav Čeček and Karel Husárek. The president also awarded Medals for Bravery to three Czech soldiers killed in Afghanistan in August, Martin Marcin,Kamil Beneš and Patrik Štěpánek.
  • On 28th October, personnel and equipment from all military branches of the Czech Armed Forces, as well as various services from the Czech Integrated Rescue System, marked 100 years since the foundation of the Czechoslovak Republic in what was the largest military parade in post-communist history. In attendance was President of the Czech Republic Milos Zeman, President of the Slovak Republic Andrej Kiska, the Czech Prime Minister, Andrej Babis with his Slovak counterpart Prime Minister Peter Pellegrinni, the Czech Minister of Defence, Lubomir Metnar, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, and the Chief of the General Staff of Armed Forces of the Czech Republic Ales Opata.

See also: Military parade celebrates 100th anniversary of Czechoslovakia

See also: 100th Anniversary of Czechoslovakia – Parade 2018 (28th October)

  • President Miloš Zeman and Slovak President Andrej Kiska, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Slovak prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, were present at Prague’s Vítkov Memorial for the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, to mark the centenary of the birth of independent Czechoslovakia and pay homage to those who laid down their lives for the country. Shortly after, President Miloš Zeman appointed new army and police generals. Lieutenant General Aleš Opata, Chief of General Staff, was promoted to the rank of General (OF-9).
  • Police President Major General Tomáš Tuhý has left his post on 31st October. He has headed the Police force since April 2014. He would soon replace Livia Klausová as the Czech ambassador to Slovakia.
  • Former Minister of Defence Martin Stropnický will serve as Czech ambassador to Israel. His immediate main task will be to open a new Czech House in Jerusalem and prepare for a visit by President Miloš Zeman. Mr. Stropnický said that Czech Republic could, and already did, explain some of Israel’s positions to the rest of the European Union.
  • Minister of Interior Jan Hamáček (ČSSD) plans major investment in the Czech Police force. According to the media he has secured over CZK 5.5 million for his ministry for next year alone and intends to put some of that money into new police stations, hundreds of cars and helicopters, eventually to hire more servicemen. It would be the largest investment in the police for a decade.
  • On 1st November Jagello 2000, organizer of the NATO Days in Ostrava, organized the fifth edition of the national conference “Our Security Cannot Be Taken for Granted”, held under the auspices of Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček and Minister of Defence Lubomír Metnar in New Gallery of the Prague Castle. The conference was to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of independent Czechoslovakia. The aim of the conference was to review the past 100 years of the Czech and Slovak history and to consider the influence of geopolitics, freedom and democracy on development of the Czech Republic. The conference further supports the discussion among top politicians, experts, military and security agencies’ representatives about current security situation.

Gen. Yair Golan, former Deputy Chief of Staff of the Israel Defence Forces was this year’s key-note speaker. The State of Israel celebrates 70 years since its founding this year and both countries have their history closely bound together. Chairmen of all political parties represented in the Chamber of Deputies were invited to the conference, together with ministers and prominent security experts, including Gen. Aleš Opata, Chief of General Staff, and Gen. Petr Pavel, former Chairman of NATO Military Committee.

See also: General Petr Pavel – small army must rely on quality

  • During the same conference Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO)  said he would propose the Czech Republic to join Hungary and Austria in withdrawing from the United Nations pact on migration which, according to the Prime Minister, blurs the dividing line between legal and illegal migration. His view was supporteed by the newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomáš Petříček (ČSSD) who said that joining the pact at this moment would be counterproductive.
  • Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has also ruled out the withdrawal of Czech soldiers from Afghanistan, that the Czech Republic would not fail its allies and would continue to fulfil its obligations. He confirmed the country had committed to increase defence spending with a view to reach the equivalent of 2 % of GDP by 2024.

See also: Czech Foreign Deployments – Reinforcements announced (2018-2019)

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