Poland won't lobby Obama on missile base

Nov. 20, 2008 at 9:35 AM
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WARSAW, Poland, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Poland's foreign minister says his country won't lobby Barack Obama once he becomes U.S. president to go ahead with basing defense missiles in Poland.

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said his country's leaders will "tread carefully and wait until the new administration makes its decision," The Washington Post reported Thursday.

The controversial European missile defense shield, which also involves basing a U.S. radar unit in the Czech Republic, would be part of a broader defense system the Bush administration said would intercept missiles aimed either at European or U.S. targets by rogue states. Russia is opposed to the plan, saying it threatens Russian national security.

Obama's foreign policy adviser Denis McDonough told the Post the president-elect "supports deploying a missile defense system when the technology is proved to be workable."

Congress has delayed considering the Polish site, in part because it is waiting for a successful testing, scheduled for 2010, of the interceptor missile to be based there, the Post said.

Sikorski said his Poland "would like to see the project continue" because it demonstrates U.S.-Polish cooperation and "adds sinews" to defense treaties.

"Everyone agrees," he said to the newspaper, "that countries that have U.S. soldiers on their territory do not get invaded."

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