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US Wants Part Of Missile Defense System Based Near Prague January 25, 2007

Posted by notapundit in Military News, US News, World News.
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PRAGUE (AP)–The Czech government received an official note from the United States requesting that part of a U.S. missile defense system be located in a military area southwest of Prague, Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek said Thursday.

The Czech government received the note on Thursday and will reply within the next few weeks, Topolanek said in a statement.

On Wednesday, Czech leaders gave their approval for official negotiations with Washington after the U.S. asked the Czech government last week to consider basing a radar station in the Czech Republic as part of a missile defense system.

Washington has requested that the radar station be placed in the Jince military area, also known as Brdy, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) southwest of Prague, Topolanek said. If the plan is approved, some 200 specialists would be deployed and the base would become operational in 2011.

Washington also wants to open formal negotiations with Poland on locating ground-based interceptor missiles there as part of the system, which it says is aimed at protecting itself and its allies against potential attacks. Poland and the Czech Republic, both former communist states, now belong to NATO.

The U.S. already has missile interceptor sites in Alaska and California, but the new sites in Europe would be the first of their kind outside U.S. territory. American officials say it could also defend Europe against any intercontinental-range missiles developed by states such as Iran and North Korea.

Under Czech law, the base would have to be approved by both chambers of the Parliament and the president.

Topolanek’s Civic Democratic Party, winner of last year’s general election, supports the plan. But the approval process could be difficult because some political parties either oppose the proposal outright or are seeking more information.

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