Czech, US governments discuss military cooperation

AP News
Posted: Nov 06, 2009 10:50 AM

Senior U.S. and Czech defense officials held talks Friday to discuss ways for the Czech Republic to participate in a reworked U.S. missile defense plan.

U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Alexander Vershbow told reporters the U.S. "did present ... some concrete ideas to begin that process of developing the Czech role in the new approach."

Vershbow's visit comes two weeks after Vice President Joe Biden won Czech support for the new plan.

In September the Obama administration scrapped Bush-era blueprints for basing long range interceptors in Poland and a radar system in the Czech Republic as part of a missile defense shield designed to shoot down long-range missiles from countries including Iran. It was strongly opposed by Russia.

The new system is focused on short- and medium-range interceptors.

Vershbow suggested the Czech contribution could include "potential facilities here on the territory of the Czech Republic."

Friday's talks were the first of a series meant to improve Czech-U.S. defense relations.