The Chairman of the Military Committee Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach visited the Czech Republic 3-5 May 2021. While in Prague, the Chairman met with Prime Minister Babis, Defence Minister Mr. Lubomir Metnar, Chair of the Defence Committee of the Chamber of Deputies of Parliament, Ms. Jana Cernochova and the Chief of Defence, General Ales Opata.
The Air Chief Marshal’s first stop was the Vitkov National Memorial, a symbol of Czechoslovak and Czech statehood, and the home of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. As he paid his respects, Chairman Peach remembered the sacrifices of Czech troops. “Czech soldiers have served with distinction in Afghanistan as part of our Resolute Support Mission, and contribute to our peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. As NATO begins to assess its future in Afghanistan with the withdrawal of our troops, I would like to thank you for your contribution and commitment to the mission.”
The Chairman had a courtesy call with Prime Minister Andrej Babis, in which he expressed NATO’s solidarity with the Czech Republic, in light of the recent expulsion of Czech diplomats from their embassy in Moscow. “The cast iron pledge of the Washington Treaty is more important now than it ever has been. We do not live in an isolated security environment. The Euro-Atlantic area is connected through our people, our security, and our economies. We stand in full solidarity with the Czech Republic.”
Air Chief Marshal Peach continued his visit to Prague meeting with Czech Defence Minister Lubomir Metnar. The Chairman praised the Czech Republic’s continued advancement in its defence capabilities. “This is not only an achievement for the Czech Republic, it is also an achievement for the Alliance and our collective defence,” he noted. Chairman Peach also highlighted the benefit for the Alliance. “As these national capabilities continue to grow, we can be better prepared as an Alliance to face the challenges of tomorrow.”
The Chairman then met with the Chair of the Defence Committee of the Chamber of Deputies of Parliament, Ms. Jana Cernochovoa. Air Chief Marshal Peach thanked Ms. Cernochova and her fellow committee members for the Czech Republic’s support to NATO, and for the country’s leadership in emerging domains such as cyber defence, Space, and 5G. Ahead of the Military Committee in Chiefs of Defence session next month, Chairman Peach met with General Ales Opata, Chief of the General Staff of the Czech Armed Forces alongside other senior General Staff officials. The Generals discussed the Czech Republic’s contributions to NATO’s missions and operations, including air-policing duties over the three Baltic States as a part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence.