NATO chief to visit Russia for talks on Afghanistan, missile defense

10:12, October 28, 2010      

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NATO chief will visit Russia next week to discuss further cooperation on Afghanistan and missile defense, a NATO spokesman said Wednesday.

NATO spokesman James Appathurai told a press briefing that NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen would hold talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Nov. 5.

The two sides will talk about the "broadening" supply routes to Afghanistan via Russia, boosting training of Afghan anti-narcotics officers and a NATO request for Moscow to provide around 20 helicopters and help train pilots, Appathurai said.

NATO's offer for Russia to cooperate on missile defense, fighting against terrorism and piracy and a joint review of security challenges in 21st century will also be on the agenda, the spokesman said.

Appathurai dismissed some media reports that claims Russian troops will be deployed in Afghanistan at the request of the Western states.

"That is not something NATO is looking for, that is not something the Russians wish to do," he said.

The visit will come just two weeks ahead of NATO's summit on Nov. 19-20 in Lisbon. Medvedev has accepted the invitation to participate a NATO-Russia Council summit on Nov. 20, right after NATO leaders meet.

Fogh Rasmussen has said that "the summit will be an important opportunity to deepen and broaden the political dialogue and practical cooperation between the NATO-Russia Council members, to enhance our shared security."

The Secretary General has proposed to build an anti-missile shield covering all NATO members and invite Russia to cooperate in the project. Russia keeps suspicious about the shield though the alliance say it is not aimed at Russia, but to counter missile threats from Iran.

Source: Xinhua


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