Correspondent Roman Czejarek presents a toy seal, the mascot of its seasonal programme Summer with the Radio, to the Polish contingent in Afghanistan. Photo: Polish Radio
This year's mascot of Summer with the Radio (Lato z Radiem), is a seal, and correspondents Karolina Rozej and Roman Czejarek made sure to take a teddy bear, or rather teddy seal, with them on their 10,000-mile journey to Afghanistan.
On arrival at the Polish base in Ghazni, eastern Afghanistan, the seal was presented to General Marek Sokolowski, current head of the Polish contingent.
“We were given a very friendly welcome, and it's not so hot, even the birds are singing,” Rozej noted while at the base.
Rozej found that the military is doing its best to create a little piece of Poland at the troops' current quarters, not discounting food. Indeed, while in transit from Bagram, the seal was accompanied by colossal consignments of herrings and cucumbers.
Peace talks divide
Meanwhile, President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai has reacted with suspicion to the Taliban declaration in Qatar on Tuesday that it is willing to enter peace talks brokered by the US.
Karzai has called for the talks to be moved to Afghanistan as quickly as possible.
Recent developments, crowned by the Taliban declaration that it supports “a political and peaceful solution which includes the end of the occupation of Afghanistan,” follow a bloody few weeks in the country.
Three civilians died in an suicide bombing in the capital, Kabul, earlier this week, and a reported 10 Taliban fighters died during clashes with US forces on 10 June.
Polish forces have been part of the NATO mission to Afghanistan since 2002, just months after the Taliban regime was compelled to abandon Kabul in November 2001, under heavy attack from American forces.
There have been 40 Polish casualties to date, including one medic.
Poland is due to cease all military operations by the end of 2014. (nh/pg)