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US proposes working with Russia for missile defense system
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The United States said Friday that it could work with Russia to develop a common missile defense system in order to clear Russia's concerns about the US plan to deploy such a system in Europe.

"The answer to the problem that you've posed, seriously, is to redefine the problem so that the answer is we and the Russians, and perhaps NATO or NATO-Russia Council, work together to produce a common system or a common network of systems which will benefit everyone's security and also address Russian security concerns," US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried said at a briefing at the State Department.

"If they (Russia) are part of a system, they can be much more confident that it is not directed against them," Fried said.

"If the Russians are concerned that somehow 10 unarmed missiles in Poland are a threat, let's discuss it. If they're concerned that the initial missile deployment in Poland could be followed by something else, we can discuss ways to address that concern," he said.

The United States plans to base missile interceptors in Poland and radar units in the Czech Republic as part of a project to extend the missile defense system to Europe.

Russia has voiced strong opposition to the plan. However, the United States has claimed the missile defense system is aimed against states and groups in the Middle East that are seeking weapons of mass destruction, not against Russia. 

(Xinhua News Agency October 6, 2007)

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