According to Czech President Miloš Zeman, NATO needs fundamental reform. In connection with what is happening in Afghanistan, he stated that NATO should cease to be a service organization of the United States and should start to feature equality among its members. According to him, NATO should also define its enemy, which is international terrorism, not Russia, for example.
The departure from Afghanistan, accompanied by the fact that the Taliban movement has practically taken over power in Afghanistan, is the fault of US President Donald Trump and his successor Joe Biden. According to him, both are “timid”.
“In any case, if it was an uncoordinated American action, then one has to ask whether NATO needs reform,” he said.
According to Zeman, NATO should cease to be a “US service organization”. At recent summits, he said the leaders of other countries were mostly silent about the US plans to leave Afghanistan.
“We need NATO’s collective leadership, a certain equality of member countries. Not a situation where if a US president calls, everyone else will obey,” he said.
He added that he agreed with the opinion of French President Emmanuel Macron that Russia is not an enemy of NATO. According to Zeman, every military organization should define its enemy.
“The enemy is international terrorism,” he repeated.
On the contrary, he rejected Biden’s statement that the Americans should not fight and die in a war in which even the Afghan forces themselves do not want to fight.
“The Taliban is a terrorist organization and has world domination in its program,” he explained. The Americans are betraying not only themselves but all civilized countries by leaving Afghanistan, Zeman claimed.
Zeman believes that NATO is now a giant into which “money is pouring”.
“But the purpose of the military organization is not being fulfilled. Do you think that if we send a few soldiers to the Baltics, we are deterring someone?” he pointed out. He said he is bothered by verbal aggression against Russia and China, as well as sanctions, which, according to him, always harm both parties.
Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek stated that Czechia must find ways to talk to the new government of Afghanistan. According to him, dialogue is necessary so that the country does not become a base for international terrorism.
“We should never negotiate with terrorists,” Zeman said. According to him, the Taliban would turn the country into a terrorist center and resume attacks around the world.
“When the Taliban demonstrates another terrorist act, then others may come to this opinion,” he added to the question of negotiations with the movement.
Title image: The president of the Czech Republic Milos Zeman addresses the media during a joint press conference after their meeting at the Hofburg palace with the Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen in Vienna, Austria, Thursday, June 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Lisa Leutner)