NATO chief seeks Russia's cooperation on missile defense

11:35, March 28, 2010      

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NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during a debate at the fifth Brussels Forum 2010 in Brussels, capital of Belgium, March 27, 2010. The forum is an annual high-level event hosted by the German Marshall Fund of the United States. (Xinhua/Zhang Chongfang)

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Friday that NATO members should agree on a missile shield that includes Russia at the alliance's next summit in November.

He made the appeal while addressing the fifth Brussels Forum, an annual high-level forum on transatlantic relations and hosted by the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

"We need a decision by NATO's next summit in November that missile defense for our populations and our territories is an alliance mission and that we will explore every opportunity to cooperate with Russia," he said, adding "one security roof, that we support together, and that we operate together. One security roof that protects us all."

In his speech, Rasmussen singled out Iran as a potential threat to the alliance as its modified missiles has put allied countries such as Turkey, Greece, Romania and Bulgaria within reach. He said that Iran was working on missiles of intermediate and intercontinental range and "if Iran were to complete this development then the whole of the European continent as well as all of Russia would be in range."

He admitted that building a missile shield with Russia would involve many "practical challenges" such as intelligence-sharing and linking sensitive technologies.

"I am suggesting nothing less than a radical change in the way we think about European security, about missile defense, and about Russia. So I am asking a lot. But the result will be worth the effort. A Europe more united and a Europe more secure than ever before in its long and turbulent history," he said.

Source: Xinhua
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