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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

NATO Sees Bigger Role In New Missile System

BRUSSELS — NATO said Thursday that it expected closer cooperation with Washington on developing anti-missile systems and that revamped U.S. plans had the potential to protect all of Europe if fully implemented.

President Barack Obama announced Thursday that he was dropping a plan to deploy interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar system in the Czech Republic. He promised instead stronger, swifter defense systems to protect U.S. allies against any threat from Iran.

A NATO spokesman said U.S. officials briefed NATO ambassadors on the U.S. plans on Thursday.

The spokesman said the defense ministers of the 28 alliance states would discuss how to move forward on missile defense in the light of U.S. plans at an Oct. 22-23 meeting in Bratislava.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the new U.S. approach would involve NATO to a much greater degree in establishment of missile defense.

“I highly appreciate that. I think it is in full accordance with the principle of solidarity within the alliance and the indivisibility of security in Europe,” he said.

Rasmussen is due to deliver a speech in Brussels on Friday in which he plans to propose concrete steps to improve NATO’s ties with Moscow, which soured as a result of the alliance’s eastward expansion and Moscow’s military intervention into Georgia last year.