Main media excluded from Afghanistan trip

On Wednesday this week a Slovak delegation with President Ivan Gasparovic and defence minister Lubomir Galko set off on a visit to Afghanistan to see how the recently deployed Slovak troops on the ISAF mission are doing there.

They headed first to the KAF military base in Kandahar, which is the station of most Slovak soldiers, who among other things are helping to train and equip the Afghan national army.

At present there are 314 professional soldiers from Slovakia stationed there, including mine disposal experts, but they are also responsible for the main entry gate to the base. Their number should increase to 348 next autumn.

The president and defence minister were accompanied also by the media, but there was a problem just a few hours before take-off, as the most read newspaper in Slovakia, Novy Cas, and the two main TV channels TV Joj and TV Markiza were taken off the list of those who could travel with the delegation. This was allegedly because of different schedules of the president and defence minister Galko, and both the presidential office and the Ministry of Defence blamed each other for the apparent mix-up.

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