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Poland, US Reach Preliminary Deal on Missile Shield

U.S. and Polish negotiators have reached a preliminary agreement on deploying a proposed U.S. missile defense system in eastern Europe.

Poland's Under-Secretary of State Andrzej Kremer and U.S. chief negotiator, John Rood, initialed the deal in Warsaw Thursday.

Earlier, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk stressed that a number of details remain to be resolved before the two countries sign a final agreement.

Mr. Tusk said the United States had agreed to Polish demands for greater military cooperation.

Talks on the missile shield foundered last month, when Poland demanded more security guarantees for the project.

But earlier this week, Mr. Tusk said the conflict between Russia and Georgia makes it more likely the United States will consider his country's view that U.S. missiles be deployed permanently in Poland.

Mr. Tusk last month rejected a U.S. offer to boost Polish air defenses in exchange for a year-long deployment of U.S. missiles in his country. He said any deal needs to strengthen Poland's security, upgrade its defenses, and leave U.S. missiles in Poland permanently.

The United States wants to base 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar system in the Czech Republic as part of a system to counter missile attacks from hostile states. Prague has already agreed to the deal, but Russia strongly opposes the project.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.