India Expresses Concern at U.S. Missile Shield Testing

India on Tuesday expressed concern at the ballistic missile shield to be tested by the United States on July 7 and asked Washington to "give up this whole exercise."

Briefing reporters on his recent visit to Russia, Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes said Moscow and New Delhi could cooperate in a joint missile defense system if the situation arose.

"One will pursue that if the situation arises," Fernandes said when asked whether the two countries would join hands in the matter if the U.S. went ahead with the exercise.

A U.S. shield against ballistic missiles will face a crucial test on July 7, which is regarded as a major step in the U.S. attempt to deploy a National Missile Defense system.

"U.S. should give up this whole exercise as it will lead to far too many problems than one can visualize now," Fernandes told the reporters.

The defense minister also noted that during his five-day visit to Russia, he had meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and other top leaders, which focused on the menace of international terrorism that had "emerged as destabilizes in several parts of Asia and the world."

India and Russia would formalize cooperation in combating international terrorism when President Putin comes to India on an official visit in October, he said.

People's Daily Online ---