Nato to support US missile shield

Leaders of military alliance pledge to "share the burden of combat" in Afghanistan.

    The missile defence system will include 10 interceptor missiles based in Poland [AP]

    The summit said it would review the decision to grant entry to the former Soviet nations in December.
    Czech deal

    The statement, circulated by US officials, will declare Nato's support for the defence system and call on all Nato members to explore ways in which the project, to be based in Poland and the Czech Republic, can be linked with future missile shields elsewhere.


    Bush, right, has been pushing for the
    inclusion of Georgia and Ukraine[AFP]

    A related US and Czech Republic deal was also reached on the

     stationing of a US

    radar in the Czech Republic to track ballistic missiles.


    "The radar will be linked to other US missile defence facilities in Europe and the United States," a joint communique from the two countries said.


    Nato's statement will call on Russia to accept US and Nato offers to co-operate on the system, which will also involve 10 interceptor missiles to be based in Poland.


    Nato's backing of the US missile defence system has been harshly condemned by Vladimir Putin, Russia's president.
    Putin will attend the summit on Friday, where he is expected to express his fears of a new arms race.
    Macedonia refused

    Decisions on which ex-Soviet states would be permitted membership action plan (Map) status, which puts applicants on a clear path to membership, were also made.


    Macedonia was refused by Greece's veto in a dispute over the former Yugoslav republic's name.


    The Greeks consider the Macedonian membership a claim on their northern provinces of the same name.


    Albania and Croatia, however, have been officially invited to join.


    Meanwhile, Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, announced that he will decide in the coming year on whether to return to Nato's military command, which Paris quit in 1966.


    He also announced that about 700 more troops would be sent to Afghanistan.


    France's decision to boost troop numbers to Afghanistan was reflected in a Nato "strategic vision" plan, where nations vowed to better fight the Taliban by providing their military commanders with more forces and training teams.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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