2008-07-23 20:38:58 GMT 2008-07-24 04:38:58 (Beijing Time) xinhuanet
WARSAW, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Polish and U.S. officials held talks in Warsaw on Wednesday to discuss to-date progress in planning the modernization of Poland's army and future tasks for teams dealing with the matter.
The meeting of Polish-American Strategic Cooperation Consultation Group (SCCG) took place in a cordial atmosphere confirming the close bond between both countries, Polish news agency PAP reported.
The meeting was also recognized as a further step towards strengthening strategic cooperation between Poland and the United States.
Task teams set to asses the risks involved in the installation in Poland of a U.S. anti-missile shield and the scope of related U.S. aid for Poland have wound up their work, Polish vice defense minister Stanislaw Komorowski told reporters after the meeting.
Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said the next SCCG session was scheduled in late August in Washington.
Sikorski added that Wednesday's talks had brought "further rapprochement" on the shield issue.
U.S. Embassy spokesman Andrew Schilling said four so-called working groups are to wrap up their two-month long study of Polish demands for U.S. help in upgrading Poland's armed forces.
The experts are focusing on intelligence, defense modernization, technological and financial issues.
The United States plans to install a base for 10 interceptor missiles in northern Poland to protect the U.S. and Europe from possible future attacks from Iran. Talks later became bogged down over Polish demands for more military aid.
Warsaw has been lobbying Washington to provide a THAAD or Patriot-type air defense system in exchange for a Polish green light for hosting the silos.
Russia objects the anti-missile shield plan, saying it will threaten Russian national security. Moscow has warned that it will target its missiles at the system if it is deployed in Poland.