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US voices confidence to reach deal with Poland over missile defense

The United States said Monday it remains confident to reach a deal with Poland to deploy a missile defense system in Poland. Poland in no hurry to make decision on US anti-missile shield.

“We’re still confident that we’re going to be able to reach an agreement,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said at a briefing. “This is in both of our interests. It’s in the interests of Poland. It’s in the interest of the United States. It’s in the interest of other European countries,” McCormack said. According to media reports, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has expressed concern Washington could abandon the plan as a Democrat candidate could win the US presidential election in November.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has said the nation would make no haste in deciding whether to host the US anti-missile shield. “We definitely shouldn’t hurry on the missile defense issue,” Tusk was quoted as saying in an interview published Monday in the Polish edition of Newsweek. The prime minister added that the shield is supposed to defend America not Poland. Coming into office in November, Tusk has taken a cooler approach toward the US missile system than his predecessor Jaroslaw Kaczynski. The new prime minister has said that Poland would not agree to host the US missile defense base unless Washington guarantees its national security. The United States is planning to build an anti-missile system, which would include 10 interceptors in northern Poland and a radar base in the Czech Republic. Russia, however, is fiercely against such an installation, which it says threatens its security. Russian deputy foreign minister Sergey Kisliak is to visit Warsaw Thursday for talks on the missile shield, according to the Polish Foreign Ministry. Tusk also plans to discuss the issue with the Russian side during his visit to Moscow next month.

The United States plans to base missile interceptors in Poland and radar units in the Czech Republic as part of a project to extend the missile defense system to Europe. Russia has voiced opposition over the plan. The US has claimed the missile defense system is aimed at states and groups in the Middle East that are seeking weapons of mass destruction. (people.com.cn)