Czech-US missile shield talks to resume in Prague

Czech and US negotiators are to resume their talks Wednesday on one of the two treaties under which the Czech Republic would host a base for the planned US missile defence system, the Czech Defence Ministry said Tuesday.

Czech-US missile shield talks to resume in Prague
"Our assumption is that this round will not be the last one and that the negotiations will continue," ministry spokesman Jan Pejsek said, adding that more talks are preliminarily set for late March.

The negotiators, led by ministry's head of security policy and strategy department Ivan Dvorak and the US State Department's senior adviser for security negotiations Jackson McDonald, are to discuss jurisdiction, taxes and security at the base, he said.

The three-day talks on the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), which deals with the deployment rules for the US military personnel, are to continue at the ministry a week after the Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek visited the White House.

The premier then told reporters that only "three words (are) remaining to be resolved and discussed."

Since then Topolanek has been more cautious. He said Sunday that the completion of the main diplomatic treaty is around the corner, while the technical SOFA requires more work.

The treaties should be finished before the NATO summit to be held in Bucharest from April 2 to 4, Topolanek said.

"We will attempt to wrap up the negotiations by the summit. It is impossible though to say so definitely," Pejsek said.

Washington asked Prague and Warsaw in January 2007 to host a tracking radar and 10 interceptor missiles respectively as part of the system's European arm.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Mart 2008, 15:59