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Czech Republic, U.S. to share security responsibility for radar base
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10:49, November 09, 2007

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The Czech Republic and the United States have agreed to share responsibility for security at the radar system the U.S. is to build on Czech soil, Czech Deputy Defence Minister Martin Bartak said on Thursday.

The Czechs would be responsible for external safety of the system, while the U.S. would be in charge of its internal security, the Czech news agency CTK quoted Bartak as saying.

A representative of the Czech Defence Ministry and his team have been granted the unlimited access to the base they required, he said.

"We view the U.S. party's approach as accommodating," Bartak said while briefing the lower house on the ongoing talks with the United States.

The two sides will dispatch "maximum number of the military and civilian staff to secure the radar base's operation," Bartak said, adding that Czech and U.S. experts will discuss environmental issues related to the base in early December.

The two sides also discussed security measures for on-line sharing of information, rules for the handling of classified information and the involvement of Czech companies in the construction and operation of the base, he said.

Washington initiated the plan to deploy an anti-missile radar base in the Czech Republic and a missile interceptor base in Poland earlier this year.

A recent opinion poll showed that most of Czechs oppose the establishment of the base.

The project has met strong opposition from Russia, which believes it is the target of the deployment, rather than Iran as Washington has claimed.

Source: Xinhua

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