PRAGUE (AFP) — US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is expected to sign an agreement with the Czech government to place a US anti-missile in the country in early July, CTK newsagency reported Wednesday.
Rice was originally expected to fly into Prague at the start of May to sign the agreements but a postponement was announced a week before.
"As soon as a date is agreed between the two sides, it will be announced," Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg told Czech reporters in Washington, cited by CTK. He refused to give more details, beyond saying it would be early July.
No final date for the visit has yet been finalised, Czech foreign ministry deputy spokesman Jiri Benes told AFP in Prague.
Rice should sign an already agreed diplomatic deal over the radar as well as a still to be finalised accord over the terms for US forces to be stationed at the base, Schwarzenberg said.
The US wants a radar sited at a military base around 100 kilometres (60 miles) south-west of Prague. Together with an interceptor missile base in neighbouring Poland, Washington says it would protect against attacks from "rogue" states such as Iran.
The US project in two former Soviet-bloc states has raised anger in Moscow which says it is a threat to its own security.
After the signing, the fragile centre-right coalition government of Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek must muster a majority in parliament to approve the radar deals -- with its prospects of doing so looking uncertain.
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