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Iran's Ahmadinejad Says US Missile Defense Plan Threatens Asia


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says a U.S. missile-defense plan in Europe is a threat to countries across much of Asia.

Mr. Ahmadinejad spoke in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan Thursday, at a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The group includes Russia, China and four former-Soviet Central Asian countries - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Iran has observer status.

Russia has led opposition to U.S. plans for a missile-defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic. The U.S. has said the system would counter threats of attack by rogue countries, including Iran.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told the meeting that attempts to solve global problems unilaterally are hopeless. He encouraged strengthening what he called a "multi-polar" international system to ensure security and opportunity for all countries.

The Central Asian summit also discussed the fights against terrorism and narcotics, environmental protection and economic development, with a particular focus on energy and transport links.

After the summit, the leaders of all six SCO-member countries - Mr. Putin, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Uzbek President Islam Karimov, Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon and Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev - are to head to Russia to watch joint war games.

The SCO was founded in 2001 by six nations - Kyrgyzstan, China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan.

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

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