Martin, April 21 (TASR) – Almost two dozen Slovak servicemen from three foreign missions – in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Afghanistan, and the Golan Heights – were welcomed back home by Defence Minister Peter Gajdos (a Slovak National Party/SNS nominee) at a military training base in Martin (Zilina region) on Friday.
“The members of the Slovak Armed Forces have returned from three different missions – under the European Union flag, NATO and UN,” said Gajdos in reference to the EUFOR ALTHEA, Resolute Support and UNTSO missions.
“I hereby wanted to express my thanks and pride in the fulfilment of their tasks in all three missions. They’re real representatives of the Slovak Armed Forces and the Slovak Republic, as is clearly attested to by the tasks they’ve carried out,” said Gajdos after greeting the 22 soldiers.
Deputy Chief of General Staff Pavel Macko at the welcoming ceremony noted that the deployment of Slovak servicemen in foreign peacekeeping missions and operations of international crisis management makes up an important part of their overall combat readiness, apart from serving as Slovakia’s contribution towards ensuring international stability and peace.
Macko noted that more than 250 Slovak troops are currently serving abroad. “The largest mission is the UNFICYP in Cyprus, where we serve as the leading country in one of the sectors, having also some officers in the command and one unit directly subordinated to the command,” said Macko, adding that apart from the aforementioned three foreign operations, members of the Slovak military are also present on a monitoring mission in Georgia.
Meanwhile, 149 soldiers have been dispatched to a training mission in Latvia. “Even though it’s training, I take it as a mission. We’re also preparing ten police officers to carry out duties within the Sofia mission in the Mediterranean. We’ll thereby meet another of our commitments in helping migrants and in tackling the issue of illegal migration,” added Gajdos.