Czech-US missile defence talks likely to end next week
(dpa) - Czech and US officials are likely to wrap up talks on the second missile defence treaty next week, Czech Defence Ministry said Wednesday.
The negotiating teams are scheduled to meet in Prague for three days of talks on April 22-24, according to ministry spokesman Jan Pejsek.
"Our optimistic assumption is that these will be the last talks," he said.
The so-called Status of Forces Agreement determines the legal status of up to 250 US troops to be stationed at a US missile defence shield radar base in the Czech Republic.
The agreement is to complement the main diplomatic treaty, whose signing in Prague by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her Czech counterpart Karel Schwarzenberg is planned for early May.
While Czech-US talks are nearly completed, the negotiations on placing 10 interceptor missiles in Poland have lagged behind. Washington has so far failed to win over Moscow, which opposes placing the US installations in the former Soviet satellites.