Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek said Saturday that the United States has decided to start negotiations with Prague about the location of the radar part of its missile defense base in the Czech Republic.
Topolanek believed this plan would increase the safety of the Czech Republic and the United States, local media reported.
He believed that Czech could benefit from the project in terms of economy, as well as science and research field, the report said.
Topolanek expected the talks to last several months.
Defense Minister Vlasta Parkanova said the location of the radar is a sensitive issue in Czech citizens' eyes.
"We should consider the offer seriously and responsibly," Parkanova said.
The United States plans to deploy a missile defense radar in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland. The operation is going to start in 2011 and the location of the base would be decided early this year. Washington is also to make the final decision on the operation early this year.
However, most people in the Czech Republic and Poland expressed fears that the U.S. missile base would decrease security in their countries. Around 65 percent of Czechs are against the plan, according to the latest poll.
The possible location of the U.S. anti-missile radar in the military area of Jince or Libava has not aroused enthusiasm among the local inhabitants of adjacent municipalities, while leaders of the two regions seemed to back the idea.
Josef Vondrasek, mayor of Rozmital pod Tremsinem, a town situated some 20 km away from Jince, told local media that the radar base would mean no change for the better.
"I can see no progress in it, rather a change to the worse," he said.
Nevertheless, Cestmir Rochovensky, mayor of Praslavice, a village adjoining the Libava military training grounds, told the local media that he could not view the possible radar as a positive contribution.
"Our village does not need it. Praslavice hosts a military garrison, which, however, is of no benefit to it. Moreover, it ( the radar) would mean restrictions for people," Rochovensky said.
Unlike him, Olomoucky regional governor Ivan Kosatik supports the establishment of the radar in the region.
"In this region, which suffers from high unemployment, this would help us solve the problem," Kosatik said.