Czech-U.S. cooperation in missions, research to intensify

Top representatives of both countries are yet to sign the document about which Czech diplomatic and military delegations negotiated in the USA these days.

Bartak dismissed the information that the Czech-U.S. talks did not concern U.S. help in modernising the Czech military transport aircraft.

He said only a possibility to use U.S.-made Hercules planes was being considered.

Bartak said the Czech Republic was seeking possibilities of securing tactical transport of materiel to its missions. The military plans to use four small and two medium transport aircraft. At present, the Czech military uses two Airbuses, among others.

The military is also planning a purchase of several aircraft made by Spanish company CASA.

Bartak said the U.S. would mainly support Czech missions in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq with equipment.

He repeatedly rejected the view that the talks on aircraft and other issues are directly related to the U.S. plan to station a missile defence base in the Czech Republic.

However, the Czech government launched a strategical dialogue with the United States soon after it approved the controversial radar base project.

The U.S. plans to build a radar base in the Czech Republic and a base for ten interceptor missiles in Poland as part of the anti-missile shield that are to protect the United States and a large part of the European continent against missiles that states like Iran might launch.

The Czech left-wing opposition as well as most of the Czech public still oppose the radar base.

[Source: Czech News Agency, Prague and Washington, 05Sep08]

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The Question of South Ossetia
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