Czech, US fail to complete missile-shield talks

April 25th, 2008 - 7:03 am ICT by admin  

Prague, April 25 (DPA) Czech and US negotiators Thursday failed to wrap up an accord on the stationing of American troops at a planned missile defence base in the former Soviet bloc nation. Negotiators made “significant progress” during three days of talks in Prague but are to meet again, the Czech defence ministry said. No date was immediately set, spokeswoman Jindriska Veresova said.

The so-called Status of Forces Agreement is meant to complement the main US-Czech deal, announced April 3, to set up an anti-missile radar in the Czech Republic.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her Czech counterpart Karel Schwarzenberg are expected to sign the main agreement, possibly as early as May 6.

Both treaties require approval by the Czech parliament, where Prime Minister Mirak Topolanek’s centre-right government lacks clear support for the project.

While talks on placing a US radar base in the Czech Republic appear to be near completion, US negotiations with Poland to accept 10 interceptor missiles are lagging.

Washington has so far failed to win over Moscow, which rejects US plans to place missile defence bases in the former Soviet satellites.

The Bush administration says the missile shield is meant to counter possible threats from countries like Iran and poses no danger to Russia.

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