Pompeo starts his European tour from Plzen

Pompeo enjoys a glass of beer in the Czech city of Plzen, 11 August.

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday kicked off a five-day tour of four European nations with a visit to the Czech Republic, news wires reported. He was welcomed by his counterpart Tomas Petricek in the western Czech city of Plzen where he took part in an event to commemorate the liberation of the city from Nazi occupation by the US military 75 years ago at the end of World War II.

"I can only imagine the joy, the absolute joy, when American tanks and jeeps came rumbling into Plzen," Pompeo told journalists at the site. The politicians also visited a museum and a memorial dedicated to the then US General George S Patton (1885-1945). The programme also included a visit to a brewery.

Petricek said he also wanted to talk to Pompeo about the situation in Belarus after the presidential election and possible reactions. The political talks during the trip are also expected to focus on the security of the new 5G cellular networks. Pompeo has long warned of the alleged risks of working with Chinese technology equipment manufacturers such as Huawei. Back in Prague, he has talks with PM Andrej Babis on the agenda, dpa reported.

Pompeo is due to visit Slovenia and Austria on Thursday and end the tour in Poland on Friday. A declaration is to be signed in Slovenia, while in Poland talks are expected to focus on strengthening the US military presence in the NATO member state.

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