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Friday, June 15, 2007

By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writer
Thu Jun 14, 2:47 PM ET
BRUSSELS, Belgium - An effort to provide U.S.-made military transport planes to NATO nations stalled Thursday as allied countries said they needed more time to review the plan.
Representatives from France, Spain and Germany voiced objections to the proposal that would allow a consortium of 18 countries to buy three Boeing Co. C-17 Globemasters, according to a senior U.S. official familiar with the debate during a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels.
A second U.S. official said the objections center on whether the 18 countries would be solely responsible for any legal and financial responsibilities or if other NATO nations may be liable.
The officials requested anonymity because the matter had not yet been resolved.
During the meeting Thursday, NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer read a paragraph from the agreement to the ministers that outlines the legal obligations.
Under the plan, in the works since last year, NATO would buy the planes. But 16 NATO countries and two partner nations — Finland and Sweden — would pay for the C-17s, which cost $225 million each. A fourth plane would be funded by the U.S.LinkHere


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