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Czechs participating in central European defence talks

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Budapest/Prague, March 28 (CTK) – There was an agreement that at the next meeting of the Central Defence cooperation (CEDC) the preparation for joint bids for Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) projects will be completed, Czech Defence Minister Karla Slechtova said after she attended the meeting of membership countries of the CEDC on Wednesday.

A project of military mobility is the priority of Czech representatives since “there is the biggest chance of success in it,” the Defence Ministry press release said.

The European Commission introduced the plan for an easy transfer of military equipment across Europe on Wednesday.

The security of Central Europe is a guarantee of the future of the continent, Hungarian Defence Minister Istvan Simicsko said after meeting his counterparts from the CEDC, the defence ministers of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Slovenia, Croatia and Austria.

The Austrian news agency MTI said they had agreed on the need to enhance the defence capacities of their countries due to the efficient protection of the outer border of the Schengen area.

The security situation in the Western Balkans is alarming, they said.

They also discussed cooperation under the NATO aegis. It is of major importance for the Czech Republic because of the deployment of a contingent to the Baltics within the Enhanced Forward Presence.

Last August, Czech chief of staff Josef Becvar said the Czech military would send a mechanised battalion there in mid-2018 .

“It is one of the parts of the NATO collective defence. It is vital for us. This is why I actively insist on the necessary enhancement of the Czech presence in foreign operations,” Slechtova said.

MTI said Slechtova had appreciated the CEDC as a platform thanks to which “one can hear our voice.”

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