Pompeo in Prague for the start of a central European tour

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PRAGUE | US Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo arrived in Prague on Tuesday, the start of a five-day tour of Central Europe, to discuss China and 5G in particular.

Mr. Pompeo will spend two days in the Czech Republic before going to Slovenia, Austria, then Poland, which will host some of the American troops leaving Germany.

He will try to convince his partners to do without the construction of the 5G networks of the services of the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, considered a threat by Washington, and will discuss how to reduce the energy dependence of this region on Russia.

The US Secretary of State will join his Czech counterpart Tomas Petricek on Tuesday on a trip to Plzen (west) to pay tribute to the American troops who liberated the city from the Nazis in 1945.

On Wednesday, he will meet with Czech and American tech companies to discuss 5G before speaking with billionaire Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis.

Mr Pompeo will also deliver a speech in the Czech Senate and meet briefly with pro-Russian and pro-Chinese Czech President Milos Zeman.

Then he will travel to Slovenia on Thursday where he is to sign a bilateral agreement on security issues relating to 5G.

On the same day, he will travel to Austria to meet Chancellor Sebastian Kurz with whom he will discuss US-Austrian trade and Austria’s involvement in peacekeeping missions around the world.

Finally, the Secretary of State will visit Poland on Saturday to discuss the redeployment of US troops withdrawn from Germany.

The Pentagon recently said that the United States would repatriate home some 6,400 troops deployed in Germany and move nearly 5,600 more to other NATO allies.

Donald Trump’s administration maintains close ties with Polish President Andrzej Duda, who won an invitation to the White House days before being reelected in July.

Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak recently said the United States would deploy at least 1,000 additional troops and a command structure for NATO’s eastern flank to Poland.

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