Source AP ©

German FM to visit Czech Republic

Germany’s foreign minister is to discuss EU issues and U.S. missile defense plans in Prague .

Frank-Walter Steinmeier will meet with Czech counterpart Karel Schwarzenberg, officials said. The talks will include the new EU reform treaty, the expansion of the bloc's borderless travel zone to nine new member states in December and the situation in the Middle East.

Washington made a formal request in January for permission to place a radar base in the Czech Republic as part of a defense shield, which U.S. officials say is needed to protect against a threat from Iran.

The U.S. also wants to place 10 interceptor missiles in Poland.

Russia opposes the plan, saying the shield would threaten its own nuclear defenses.

Earlier this year, Steinmeier called for a calm debate within the European Union, NATO and with Russia on the U.S. plan.

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