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Polish President:  US Missile Shield Must Protect All Alliance Members


Polish President Lech Kaczynski has said NATO should provide equal security to all its members as he discussed U.S. plans to deploy a missile defense system in his country and the Czech Republic.

Mr. Kaczynski said Wednesday that if the missile defense system is completed, it must cover all 26 NATO members. He spoke in Brussels after meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.

The U.S. plan suggests deploying 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar system in the Czech Republic. The system would cover NATO members except Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria and parts of Romania. Russia has fiercely opposed the plan.

President Kaczynski did not say whether his country will approve the U.S. proposal. But he added that Poland will provide an answer soon. President Bush is due to visit Poland Friday.

Public opinion polls in Poland and the Czech Republic have shown opposition to the missile plans. But the governments of both countries have said the system could improve their security.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP.

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