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Iraq praises Czech aid in anti-IS struggle

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Prague, July 17 (CTK) – Iraq praises the Czech government and NGOs’ aid in the anti-Islamic State struggle, Iraqi ambassador to the Czech Republic Walid Shiltagh said today, adding that Czech firms can join his country’s post-war reconstruction and use their former contacts.

Shiltagh also communicated the Iraqi military’s thanks for Czech-made L-159 aircraft that were deployed in the struggle for Iraq’s second largest city Mosul.

The military liberated the city after a nine-month fight with IS units. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the victory in Mosul on Monday last week.

Shiltagh said the Czech planes played an important role. They were fighting round-the-clock and they proved their very good technical level.

Shiltagh said Iraq wants to negotiate with the Czech Republic about further contracts for the military.

He said the Iraqi defence minister is to visit the Czech Republic next month.

According to previous information, Iraq is negotiating with the Czech Republic about the purchase of another six L-159 aircraft.

Czech aviation advisers have operated in Iraq since last August. A team of Czech military surgeons started its mission in Iraq last December.

Shiltagh also praised Czech humanitarian and development assistance.

He thanked the Czech nation and NGOs for delivering humanitarian aid to internally displaced inhabitants and refugees during Iraq’s difficult three years.

Shiltagh said Czech firms have an opportunity to take part in the post-war reconstruction particularly in building refineries, railways and other transport infrastructure.

He said he he personally would like Czech firms to participate in the reconstruction of the refinery in Baiji which they helped build in the past.

Shiltagh said Czech firms can also join building refrigerating systems and help Iraq’s health and education sectors.

He said a Czech parliamentary delegation, headed by Chamber of Deputies deputy chairman Jan Bartoska and Senate deputy chairwoman Miluse Horska will visit Iraq. They will be accompanied by a business mission.

Shiltagh said Iraqi President Fuad Masum has expressed interest in visiting the Czech Republic in the near future.

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