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US Defense Chief in Berlin for Talks on Missile Shield


U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is in Berlin, on the last leg of a tour aimed at gaining European support for a controversial U.S. plan to deploy a missile defense system on the continent.

Gates was meeting Wednesday with his German counterpart, Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung, as well as Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Germany currently holds the European Union's rotating presidency.

Gates arrived in Berlin from Warsaw, where on Tuesday he said Russian concerns about the deployment will be answered.

A day earlier in Moscow, the American tried to soften Russian resistance to the plan by inviting Russia to become a partner in the U.S. missile plan.

Washington wants to deploy 10 missile interceptors in Poland and missile tracking radar in the Czech Republic, to protect U.S. interests and allies from what the U.S. calls a serious missile threat from Iran.

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