WARSAW, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- Visiting United States Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said Thursday that the U.S. is still firmly committed to deploying elements of the anti-missile shield in Poland, local media reported.
He expected that to happen during the third stage of implementing the European part of the anti-missile system in 2018, according to media reports.
Hagel made the remarks after talking with Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak, which is reported to be focused on bilateral military cooperation and partner-like relations in the field of security.
He said that the U.S. is involved in Poland's defense and the two countries will continue cooperation in air force exercises.
The U.S. and Poland share the common objective of international security and their alliance will keep on developing and be strong, firm and effective, Hagel said.
Siemoniak said the security of Poland and of this part of Europe in the 21st century hinges on support from and presence of the United States.
Hagel's talks with Poland's Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski covered Polish-US military cooperation, cooperation within NATO, the situation in Afghanistan and in the Middle East, including Syria.
Sikorski told Hagel that Poland appreciated the presence of a U.S. Air Force sub-unit in Lask and the Polish-U.S. cooperation in Afghanistan.
The U.S. secretary of defense underlined Poland's active role in NATO and spoke highly about Polish soldiers on the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan.