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Czech gov't party may vote against US radar-agency

A Czech junior government party called on its deputies to vote against a plan to build a US radar in the country, raising the possibility the project may not get through parliament.

US and Czech officials agreed at a NATO summit on Thursday on the deployment of the first part of a planned US missile shield for Europe, a project that has sparked opposition by Russia which sees it as a threat to its security. The three-party Czech coalition government has struggled to find a consensus on the plan. It lacks a parliamentary majority, and cannot count on opposition support.

The Green Party, a junior coalition partner, said on Saturday that endorsement of the radar by NATO was not enough to meet the party's conditions on agreeing to the plan.

“Another two conditions - a binding guarantee by the US government that the radar ... will be put under the NATO command and its joint endorsement by the EU Council - were not met,” CTK quoted the party's resolution as saying.

The resolution does not mean the party's six deputies in parliament will vote against the radar. The government has 100 seats in the 200-seat lower house of parliament.

Party chief Martin Bursik said the resolution was not binding, news Web site reported.

Washington wants to install a radar in the Czech Republic and 10 interceptor rockets in Poland to protect the United States and its allies from attack by what it calls rogue states, such as Iran or North Korea. (Reuters)