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Pompeo arrives in Czech Republic at start of Central European visit

Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo meets with staff and families from U.S. Embassy Prague, in Prague, Czech Republic, on August 12, 2020. (State Department photo by Ron Przysucha/ Public Domain)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Prague on August 11 to open a five-day visit to Central Europe with an agenda including China’s role in 5G network construction.

Pompeo will spend two days in the Czech Republic before traveling to Slovenia, Austria, and Poland, which is eager to welcome some of the U.S. troops leaving Germany to guard against historic adversary Russia.

The focus will be on Pompeo’s campaign for nations to reject cooperation with Huawei, the Chinese telecom giant considered a threat by Washington as it takes a lead in fifth-generation Internet, and to reduce Europe’s energy dependence on Russia.

In Prague, Pompeo will join his Czech counterpart, Tomas Petricek, on a trip to Plzen to pay tribute to U.S. troops that liberated the western Czech city in 1945.

On August 12, he will meet Czech and U.S. tech companies over 5G before talks with Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis.

Pompeo will also deliver a speech in the Czech Senate and hold a short meeting with the pro-Russian, pro-Chinese Czech President Milos Zeman.

On August 13, Pompeo will travel to Slovenia where he is due to sign a bilateral agreement on 5G security.

The same day, Pompeo will travel to Austria to meet Chancellor Sebastian Kurz for talks on U.S.-Austrian trade and Austria’s involvement in peacekeeping missions worldwide.

Finally, Pompeo will move to Poland on August 15 to discuss the redeployment of U.S. troops from Germany.

The Pentagon has recently said the United States would bring home some 6,400 military personnel from Germany and shift nearly 5,600 more to other NATO allies.

Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak has said that the United States will deploy at least 1,000 additional troops to Poland.