Czech-US treaty on radar base may be signed on May 5 – press

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The Czech-US treaty on the stationing of a US radar base on Czech soil may be symbolically signed on May 5, the anniversary day of the Prague anti-Nazi uprising at the end of war in 1945, daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) writes today, referring to Czech and US diplomatic sources.

The paper writes that a NATO conference on anti-missile defence will be held in Prague at the time. Besides, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been invited to the Czech Republic for the same time, HN writes. “The negotiations on the main treaty on the radar should be completed by the Bucharest NATO summit that is held next week, but it will be ready for signature at the turn of April and May at the earliest,” Tomas Pojar, Czech first deputy foreign minister and chief negotiator on the radar base, told Hospodarske noviny. The radar base is to be located at the Brdy military district, some 90 km southwest of Prague. The radar and a planned base for ten interceptor missiles in Poland are to be elements of the US missiles shield.

The two Central European bases are to protect the United States and a large part of Europe against missiles that states like Iran might launch. Some 70% of Czechs are opposed to the radar base on Czech soil. The opposition Social Democrats (CSSD) and Communists (KSCM) also reject the project. HN writes that the main treaty might be signed already on April 28 when Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg is to visit the United States. The radar base was supported by former Czech president Vaclav Havel on Czech Television on Monday. He said, this would be the first chance for Czechs to accommodate an ally without which independent Czechoslovakia would not have been established in 1918 and the Iran Curtain would not have been removed. (ceskenoviny.cz)


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