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PM Fico welcomes US decision to drop European missile shield plans

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said he welcomed the decision by the United States to halt its plans to build a European missile shield in the Czech Republic and Poland. Speaking after an extraordinary session of the European Council in Brussels on the evening of September 17,Fico said he thinks that the decision will strengthen confidence in the region, the TASR newswire reported.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said he welcomed the decision by the United States to halt its plans to build a European missile shield in the Czech Republic and Poland. Speaking after an extraordinary session of the European Council in Brussels on the evening of September 17,Fico said he thinks that the decision will strengthen confidence in the region, the TASR newswire reported.

"It is a decision that aims to lower, not increase tension, so my stance is clear: I welcome the decision of the U.S. administration not to distribute rockets or radars in Europe, which could cause tensions in relations with the Russian Federation or other large countries," he stated to TASR.

The EC extraordinary session didn't deal with this issue, but the Czech Republic did come up in talks concerning the Treaty of Lisbon ratification process. Along with Ireland, which is due to decide on ratification in a second referendum in October, the Czech Republic hasn't concluded the ratification process either because its President Vaclav Klaus hasn't signed the document yet. According to Fico, a great deal of caution prevails, despite the fact that public opinion polls show that the second referendum in Ireland could lead to the ratification of the Treaty. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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