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NATO defense ministers agree to work on cyber defense
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21:58, October 25, 2007

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NATO defense ministers on Thursday agreed to pool their resources in the fight against cyber attacks, said NATO spokesman James Appathurai.

"There is a growing consensus within NATO that the alliance could add value and should define exactly where it can add value," said the spokesman.

He said there is a general sense among the defense ministers that cyber security is an issue concerning potential national security, taking the sustained cyber attack that Estonia suffered at the end of last year as an example.

Cyber defense could be a topic at NATO's next summit in Bucharest, Romania, in April 2008, said the spokesman.

At the second day of an informal meeting, the NATO defense ministers also discussed missile defense.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates updated his colleagues with Washington's latest talks with Moscow as well as bilateral negotiations with Poland and the Czech Republic.

The ministers discussed how to take forward work within NATO which must take into account the U.S. negotiations with Poland and the Czech Republic, said the spokesman.

The U.S. wants to deploy interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic to fend off what Washington claims is a potential ballistic missile threat from Iran. But Moscow fears that the missile shield could weaken its deterrence.

The defense ministers have agreed to assess the political and military implications of the U.S. plan to deploy a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe. They want to conclude the assessment by February 2008, two months before the next NATO summit in Bucharest.

Source: Xinhua

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