Thursday, Aug 14, 2008
Poland finally agreed on Thursday to host elements of U.S. global anti-missile system on its territory after Washington improved the terms of the deal amid the Georgia crisis.
The preliminary deal was signed by deputy Polish Foreign Minister Andrzej Kremer and U.S. chief negotiator John Rood. It still needs to be endorsed by the Polish parliament.
The signing comes after Prime Minister Donald Tusk had been holding out for enhanced military cooperation with the United States in return for consent to host 10 interceptor rockets at a base in northern Poland.
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Washington says the interceptors and a radar in the Czech Republic would form part of a global “missile shield” protecting the United States and its allies from long range missiles that could in the future be fired by Iran or groups such as al-Qaeda.
“We have crossed the Rubicon,” Tusk said just before the deal was signed.
“We have finally got understanding of our point of view that Poland, being a crucial partner in NATO and an important friend and ally of the United States, must also be safe.”
Officials said the deal included a U.S. declaration that it will aid Poland militarily in case of a threat from a third country and that it would establish a permanent U.S. base on Polish
This article was posted: Thursday, August 14, 2008 at 12:57 pm