Czech Minister of Defence Lubomír Metnar met with the Minister of Defence of Federal Republic of Germany Ursula von der Leyen in Berlin. He was accompanied by Deputy Minister for Defence Policy and Strategy Jakub Landovský and Director of the MoD Capabilities Planning Division Major General Jaromír Alan.
“Cooperation on the bilateral as well as international level were among the topics of the meeting. Madam Minister and I agreed that common exercises bring the desired effect and that we want to continue intensifying these activities,” Minister Metnar said after the meeting.
The most important partner
The meeting was a follow-up on a visit by the German Minister in Prague in 2015 and the last bilateral discussions in Berlin took place seven years ago. Since then, mutual cooperation with Germany intensified and expanded. Germany is the Czech Republic’s most important trade partner and indeed a very significant partner in the defence sector.
Other than the development of cooperation in defence industry, also cooperation between the two countries’ Armed Forces in military exercises has developed fast. Annually, Czechs participate in about thirty exercises in Germany and reciprocally, German Armed Forces take part in about ten exercises in the Czech Republic. The Ministers agreed upon further intensification of such cooperation with the potential to involve the whole Visegrad Four group.
Shoulder to shoulder in foreign missions
The Czech military professionals meet with their German colleagues also in foreign missions. For instance, as part of the eFP or in Czech deployment in Mali, during the training of Iraqi service personnel or in standby for NATO and EU readiness forces. “Czech servicemembers highly value the exchange of experience with the Germans, who are the lead nation of the enhanced Forward Presence in Lithuania, and praise the cooperation,” Minister Metnar summed up.
He also noted that currently, almost two hundred Czech servicemembers are assigned to the land component of Very high readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) led by Germany. Another joint activity of the Alliance is the NATO Readiness Initiative (NRI) where both nations seek to make a significant contribution.