U.S. Sees Progress on Missile Defense

WASHINGTON -- U.S. negotiators said they had made progress in drafting a document with Russian counterparts that would lay out areas of agreement that could include a deal on the divisive U.S. missile defense plans.

The U.S. officials, who wrapped up two days of talks with a Russian delegation on Thursday, said they were hoping to conclude the document before a meeting between U.S. President George W. Bush and President Vladimir Putin in Sochi next weekend.

However, the officials who led the U.S. negotiating team, acting U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Daniel Fried and Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security John Rood, said it was unclear whether disagreements over missile defense and other issues would be resolved in time.

"We still have some more work to be done, but I think we have settled the bulk of the issues," Rood told reporters on a conference call.