Department of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and his counterpart from the Czech Republic yesterday signed an agreement that prepares the way for the two nations to collaborate in developing science and technology programs.
In a ceremony held at the U.S. mission to NATO in Brussels, Belgium, Gates and Czech Defense Minister Martin Bartak signed documents providing the legal frame for engagement and cooperation in various science and technology projects, including research, development, testing and evaluation.
“I see this agreement as a manifestation of our relationship with the Czech Republic and our view of the Czech Republic as a valued ally,” Gates said at the signing ceremony.
The memorandum of understanding means the two countries have agreed on a general framework that is going to be followed by separate agreements on specific projects. Asked after the ceremony if those future projects include missile defense, Gates said yesterday’s memorandum does not include any specific initiatives, but that missile defense could be a future project.
Bartak noted the agreement covers more than defense-related research and development. It proves, he said, that cooperation between the United States and the Czech Republic is ongoing, and will continue.