Poland fires missile-shield negotiator with US

Washington's negotiator John Rood is expected to visit Warsaw later this week over hosting a U.S. missile shield, a U.S. official said.

Poland fires missile-shield negotiator with US
Prime Minister Donald Tusk on Monday removed Poland's top negotiator in missile-shield talks with the United States.

Tusk said Monday he was "unsatisfied" with how Waszczykowski led negotiations on the US proposal to station 10 interceptor missiles on Polish soil as part of the missile defence system.

Tusk added that Waszczykowski's comments to the weekly could only make negotiations more difficult for Poland.

Meanwhile, Washington's negotiator John Rood is expected to visit Warsaw later this week over hosting a U.S. missile shield, a U.S. official said on Monday.

The United States wants to deploy 10 rocket interceptors in Poland and a radar in the neighbouring Czech Republic.

In July, Tusk rejected the latest U.S. offer as inadequate, saying Poland's security must be enhanced in return for hosting the shield, strongly opposed by Warsaw's former overlord Russia.

At a news conference on Monday, Tusk said this was even more the case in view of the fighting in South Ossetia between Russia and Georgia.

"The example of Georgia shows strongly how important the security of Poland and the whole region is today," Tusk said.

For former Soviet satellite states in eastern Europe, "realistic guarantees of security and territorial integrity are even more important today", he added.

Poland wants the United States to boost Polish air defences with cash and equipment such as long-range Patriot missile batteries.

"We are expecting John Rood to visit on August 13-15," said Andrew Schilling, spokesman at the U.S. embassy in Warsaw. "But the visit is not 100 percent sure due to unknown developments in Georgia, for example."

The missile shield has become an emotive issue in Poland, largely because it has become entangled with domestic politics, with rivals using the deal to score points with voters.

Poland's outgoing negotiator on the U.S. shield Witold Waszczykowski said in an interview with the Polish edition of Newsweek published on Monday that Tusk was driven by domestic political concerns rather than Poland's strategic interests in rejecting the offer.

Agencies
Last Mod: 12 Ağustos 2008, 16:42
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