The Speech of the President of the Czech Republic during the Videoconference with B-9 Presidents

5/10/2021

Dear colleagues,

I am glad that I have the chance to meet you again even if I dislike videoconferences, and I firmly hope that I will have the chance to meet you in a friendly atmosphere without these videoconferences and in a friendly manner because the fall of pandemic is a near future, I firmly hope.

So, friends, as you know my nearly permanent topic is Afghanistan. In the last London NATO summit, as a lonely fighter I protested against the withdrawal from Afghanistan. I should say just now, let me quote the Talleyrand: “It is worse than crime. It is a mistake.” Why? I will go on to speak about recent events even if they are symptomatic.

You know about the bloody attack on the girl students in Kabul, and you know pretty well that president Ghani accused the Taliban. It is fully understandable, because Taliban is strictly against education of women. That’s why my scenario, maybe a catastrophic scenario, is as follows: The first step after our leaving Afghanistan, Taliban will suppress the legal Afghan government. The second step, it will govern all the territory of Afghanistan. The next step, it will create a new terroristic centre which might be compared to the Islamic State in recent years.

Let me quote the Secretary General of the NATO who said: “There is a serious risk of creation of a new terroristic centre in Afghanistan.” Jens, if you have the same opinion as me, why do you not protest against the withdrawal from Afghanistan? Against this big mistake which reminds me of appeasement policy, even cowardice, even capitulation. Negotiation with the Taliban is very similar to the negotiation with Adolf Hitler with the same consequences.

So, I firmly believe that the situation in Afghanistan will be very complicated after this unhappy decision, and friends, please, do not forget that the Taliban have at their disposal an enormous amount of money because Afghanistan is the main producer of opium in the whole world. And then new terroristic attacks, like the attack on the Twins for instance, might follow.

As a lonely fighter I want to be Cassandra, protesting against putting the wooden horse at the gate of Troy, and you know that Cassandra was right.

Thank you. 

Miloš Zeman, the President of the Czech Republic, Lány Chateau, 5th May 2021