US missile shield a threat to Europe unity

9th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

BRUSSELS, March 9, 2007 (AFP) - The US anti-missile shield project, which is strongly opposed by Russia, risks creating "new lines of division in Europe," French President Jacques Chirac warned Friday.

BRUSSELS, March 9, 2007 (AFP) - The US anti-missile shield project, which is strongly opposed by Russia, risks creating "new lines of division in Europe," French President Jacques Chirac warned Friday.

"The project raises numerous questions which require consideration before they are answered," the French leader told a press conference following a summit of EU heads of state and government in Brussels.

"We have to be very careful not to encourage new lines of division in Europe," said Chirac, attending his last formal European summit.

The United States wants to build a bank of 10 interceptors in Poland from next year to shoot down missiles that might be fired from "rogue states" like Iran or North Korea.

The interceptors would home in on information provided by a tracking station to be set up in the Czech Republic, as well as a forward operating radar at an undisclosed location in the Caucasus.

Moscow has reacted angrily to the plan and senior Russian military figures have warned that they might target the missile-shield sites with their own weapons.

Washington maintains that the new part of the shield -- to be fully operational by 2013 -- would protect not only eastern parts of the United States, but also many of its European allies.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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