NATO member states close to reach consensus on anti-missile shield

08:12, October 15, 2010      

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NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks at a press conference after the joint meeting of NATO's foreign and defence ministers in Brussels, Belgium, Oct. 14, 2010. Rasmussen said Thursday that he was "quite optimistic" that the anti-missile shield covering all NATO members would be adopted at the alliance's summit in Lisbon, Portugal on Nov. 19-20. (Xinhua/Wu Wei)

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Thursday that he was "quite optimistic" the anti-missile shield covering all NATO members would be adopted at the alliance's summit in Lisbon, Portugal on Nov. 19-20.

At a news conference after a joint meeting of foreign and defence ministers, Fogh Rasmussen said that "I was very encouraged by the discussions today and the Allied commitment to modernize the Alliance for the twenty-first century. I also think we are moving towards a consensus, at the Lisbon Summit, to consider that NATO should develop a capacity to protect populations and territories of European countries against missile attack."

He told journalists that the ministers had reached broad agreement on the anti-missile shield, though some technical problems still remain to be solved.

The final decision is to be made at the summit and he was " quite optimistic" about the outcome, he said.

The Secretary General also hoped that Russia could participate in the creation of the missile defense system.

"I think we should at the same time, give Russia the possibility to cooperate with us and share the fruits of this cooperation," he said.

Fogh Rasmussen has proposed to expand NATO's existing missile defense system, which only covers deployed troops, to protect citizens of all member states by linking up anti-missile systems of member states.

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