The Czech government on Wednesday agreed to start negotiations with the United States on the possible hosting of part of a US global missile defense system.
"The government approved the start of negotiations," Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek said. He said a diplomatic note about the decision will be delivered later Wednesday to the US Embassy in Prague.
In January, the US made a formal request to site a radar base in a military area southwest of Prague as part of plans for a missile defense shield that Washington says would protect against a potential threat from Iran or North Korea.
The US also wants neighboring Poland to place 10 interceptor missiles there as part of the system. The two former Soviet satellites are now NATO members.