Foreign Minister pledges Czech support for Iraq
A major conference in Paris on Monday called by French President Francois Hollande has seen 30 countries pledge to help fight militants from Islamic State by “all means necessary”. Most recognized as grave the threat to the region by militants who seized large parts of Iraq in recent months. The Czech Republic, participating in the conference, pledged support for Iraq and the Kurds in this time of crisis.
Besides, providing ammunition, which will be transported in coordination with the Canadian Air Force, Foreign Minister Zaorálek said, the Czech Republic would provide humanitarian aid and would offer training of civil defence forces. Here’s what the foreign minister had to say:
Earlier this year the Czech government approved the sale of 15 L-159 training fighter jets to Iraq and the foreign minister made clear on Monday that option too was available in the face of the current threat. The country has also offered complete training for 31 Iraqi pilots on Russian-built transport helicopters which have proven their worth in the region. Training will take place at a centre run by LOM Praha at Pardubice’s airport east of Prague and will take one year. Roman Plánička, the head of LOM – a company specializing in the refitting and repairs of Russian Mi helicopters – said that Iraq’s taking part in a planned training programme abroad was a new development.
“This is essentially the first time Iraq’s defence ministry will transfer personnel for training abroad.”