The head of the Czech Parliamentary Committee for Defence and Security, Jan Vidim, has recommended that all offices of Civic Democrat senators and deputies are checked for bugging devices. Mr Vidim made the suggestion after another Civic Democrat MP, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission for the Czech Secret Service Jan Klas, announced he had received a recording that indicated his office was bugged. On Friday night, Mr Klas received a message on his mobile phone, which he believes to have been a recording of a conversation he had with his assistant less than a week ago. Another Civic Democrat Deputy, Vlastimil Tlusty, interrupted a parliamentary session on Friday, saying he had been sent a recording of a conversation that was apparently made in his office without his knowledge.
If an ad hoc pro-war coalition of the United States and other countries is formed and a war on Iraq is declared without the support of the UN Security Council, the Czech Republic will not be a part of the operation. Speaking in a Czech TV discussion programme on Saturday, Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda reiterated that Czech forces would take part in military action against Iraq only with the support of the United Nations. On Thursday, US Defence Minister Donald Rumsfeld said that it was now only up to President Bush to declare war on Iraq as US troops are ready for the operation.
Some 300 anarchists took to the streets of Prague on Saturday to protest at a possible war against Iraq. During the demonstration, some protesters held speeches that harshly criticised the ongoing US preparations for war, saying that the United States' motive was not Iraqi disarmament but Iraq's oil. While lashing out at US foreign policy, the protesters stressed that their demonstration was neither in support of Saddam Hussein's regime nor Islamic terrorism. Carrying banners with slogans such as "no blood for oil" and "war against the people, the people against war", the protesters then proceeded through the city centre to the US Embassy in Prague.
The joint Czech-Slovak chemical and biological warfare unit that is to start operating in Kuwait on March 1st is to become the biggest in the world, according to Slovak Defence Minister Ivan Simko. Last week, the Czech and Slovak defence ministers signed a bilateral agreement to form the Czech-Slovak unit for the protection against weapons of mass destruction. While the Czech members of the contingent are already active in Kuwait, their Slovak colleagues are expected to arrive at the beginning of next week. Although the unit is deployed as part of the Enduring Freedom operation, it is to be responsible for the protection of the allies' troops as well as civilians in around 26 countries if there should be a war against Iraq.
Sunday should start off with some cold temperatures and early morning fog, gradually turning into a clear day with temperatures between 3 and 7 degrees Celsius.
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